Consistency has been a big reason for the Moose Jaw Warriors’ successful season to date.
This weekend they followed their most impressive win of the season with their most lopsided loss to date.
The Warriors pulled off the rare feat of beating the Prince Albert Raiders on the road as they handed the Western Hockey League’s top team their second loss in the Art Hauser Centre of the season.
Saturday, the Warriors were routed at home 6-0 by the Portland Winterhawks.
The Warriors (21-9-5-1) remain in third place in the East Division and remain five points behind Saskatoon with five games in hand.
While Josh Brook returned to the roster after representing Canada at the world juniors, head coach Tim Hunter has not returned behind the Warriors bench as associate coach Mark O’Leary continues to lead the Warriors.
Portland came flying out of the gates and scored four first period goals to take control of the contest.
Moose Jaw product Reece Newkirk enjoyed his home coming and opened the scoring for the Winterhawks to the delight of friends and family who were waving large cutouts of his head in the crowd.
Jake Gricius, Lane Gilliss and Clay Hanus scored for Portland as they capitalized on their first period chances.
While the score was lopsided after 20 minutes, Portland goalie Shane Farkas made a pair of good saves in the first period while the game was still close and was the benefactor of a Brook shot that rang off the post.
Warriors goalie Adam Evanoff was pulled after the first period, but Brodan Salmond didn’t fare much better as he turned the puck over behind his net 18 seconds into the second period and Seth Jarvis banged it into the empty net.
Joachim Blichfeld scored his league-leading 36th goal of the year to round out the scoring.
Nick Cicek had three assists for Portland.
Warriors defenceman Matthew Benson was given a five-minute kneeing major and a game misconduct after a knee-on-knee hit on Ryan Hughes who was able to return to action.
Farkas made 23 saves for shutout, while Salmond stopped 25 shots in relief of Evanoff.
A night earlier in Prince Albert, the Warriors were superb as they rode a Tristin Langan hat trick and a 38-save performance by Salmond to the 4-2 win.
Brayden Tracey’s 15th goal of the season came on the power play and was the winner for the Warriors midway through the third.
Langan’s 30th goal of the season came into an empty net to put the game away. Brook had three assists and Jett Woo had a pair of helpers for the visitors.
Brayden Pachal tied the game at 2-2 for Prince Albert with 17 seconds left in the second period. Ozzy Wiesblatt continued his strong run of form as he scored his eighth of the season on the power play.
Ian Scott returned from world junior duty and made 27 saves in the loss.