Hitmen Fall Short Against Warriors

Candice Ward/Photo

The first 40 minutes ended up costly.

The Hitmen lost to the Moose Jaw Warriors 8-3 Wednesday night, surrendering six goals in the first two frames.

With the loss, the Hitmen now drop to 13-23-5-1, and still sit seven points out of third place in the Central Division.

Jakob Stukel scored twice to reach the 20 goal mark and Carson Focht scored his first goal as a member of the Hitmen. Nick Schneider made 16 saves before being replaced by Matthew Armitage in the second period. Armitage stopped 10 shots in relief.

Tristan Langan scored four times, while Justin Almedia, Brecon Wood, Tyler Smithies and Tate Popple added singles. Adam Evanoff finished with 18 saves.

Wednesday’s clash was the final game between the two clubs, which saw Moose Jaw win all four games in the season series.

The Hitmen got off to a great start just 4:22 into the contest, when Stukel would steal the puck in the neutral zone and break in all alone to beat Evanoff for the early lead.

The Warriors would waste little time in tying things up, as Langan would fire a shot past Schneider on the powerplay three minutes after the Stukel goal.

Lanagan would then go on to score two more in the period for the natural hat-trick and gave the Warriors a 3-1 lead after the first 20 minutes.

After the shots being even at five a piece to start the contest, the Warriors would go on to outshoot the Hitmen 14-6.

The Hitmen would get off to another strong start in the middle stanza, firing four quality shots on goal but couldn’t capitalize on any. Moose Jaw would then score shothanded after a frenzy in front of the Hitmen net, before Almedia finally potted home a shot into the top corner.

A couple of quick passes on the rush would then lead to two straight backdoor goals with Wood scoring the first, and Langan finishing off the second play for his fourth of the night. With the lead extended to 6-1, Schneider would get replaced by Armitage at the halfway point of the period.

Focht would put a stop to the Warriors onslaught, as he found himself alone in front on the powerplay and snapped a wrist shot in the top right corner for his first since being traded to the Hitmen.

Stukel would then score his second of the night on a penalty shot that left Evanoff no chance to stopping. The goal came in between two more Warriors goals  in the final period.

The Hitmen will now head to Brandon for a date with the Wheat Kings Friday night, in the second game of a three-game road trip.


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