Team WHL dom­i­nates Game 1

Big win at Mo­saic Place

Moose Jaw Times Herald - - FRONT PAGE - RANDY PALMER

Team WHL wanted to get the CIBC Canada Rus­sia Se­ries off to as good a start as pos­si­ble. What they ac­com­plished couldn’t have been bet­ter.

The WHL scored four times in the se­cond pe­riod and Carter Hart of the Everett Sil­ver­tips stopped four break­aways in the first 10 min­utes of the game on their way to a 7-0 vic­tory at Mo­saic Place on Mon­day.

Things got off to a fast start for the Canadian crew, as the first few shifts were largely in the Rus­sian end and the WHL came within inches of scor­ing inside the open­ing minute when the Moose Jaw War­riors’ Brett How­den went hard to the net and nearly knocked a loose puck past goal­tender Alexey Mel­nichuk.

War­riors head coach Tim Hunter was be­hind the bench for Team WHL and felt that as well as things went in the open­ing frame, the dom­i­nance could have started a lot ear­lier.

“I thought we could have done a lot of things bet­ter, it took us awhile to get go­ing,” he said. “Our small­est guy Matt Phillips (Vic­to­ria Roy­als) was the guy that was in front of the goalie the most and he got paid off early with it, we had some more guys go­ing to the net and scor­ing goals right in tight.

That’s where the skill re­ally pays off, break­ing them down with shots and not al­low­ing the goalie to see re­bounds and that’s where the skill takes over and it did and we’ll have to do more to­mor­row night.”

How­den fin­ished the game with a goal and an as­sist – with his marker com­ing with two min­utes left in the third when he tipped home a point shot from Tanner Kaspick – while line­mate Kole Lind of the Kelowna Rock­ets was named player of the game af­ter scor­ing twice and adding an as­sist.

“We had a cou­ple good cy­cling shifts to start the game and just kind of built off from there,” Lind said. “They had their spurts where they had their share of chances and our D re­ally came to­gether as well, I thought we played a re­ally good all-around game.”

Moose Jaw War­riors for­ward Noah Gre­gor also saw ac­tion in the con­test and had a glorious scor­ing op­por­tu­nity on a twoon-one in the se­cond pe­riod, but was held off the score­sheet.

“It was fun, I was re­ally ex­cited to play in front of our own War­rior fans and it was a pretty ex­cit­ing game, it was cool to get a lot of goals and it’s a good start for the Se­ries,” said Gre­gor.

“I thought I did pretty well, I tried to stick to my game and play fast and play sim­ple. Rus­sia has a good team, there are a lot of good play­ers over there, but it’s awe­some that we came to­gether so quick.”

Swift Cur­rent’s Tyler Steen­ber­gen, Phillips, Port­land’s Cody Glass and Kelowna’s Dil­lon Dube also scored for Team WHL.

How­den was un­avail­able for Game 2 of the se­ries in Swift Cur­rent Tues­day af­ter leav­ing the game with an in­jury in the third pe­riod, and things didn’t go quite as well for Team WHL in that con­test.

Rus­sia scored three unan­swered goals in the third pe­riod to take a 4-3 vic­tory. Medicine Hat’s David Quen­nville scored a pair for the WHL and Dube had their other marker to go along with two as­sists. Sam Steel had three helpers.

Leth­bridge’s Stu­art Skin­ner made 29 saves for the WHL.

The se­ries con­tin­ues tonight in Owen Sound with the first meet­ing be­tween Team OHL and Rus­sia.

RANDY PALMER/TIMES-HER­ALD

Moose Jaw War­riors for­ward Brett How­den tips home a shot to put Team WHL up 5-0 against Team Rus­sia dur­ing Game 1 of the CIBC Canada Rus­sia Se­ries at Mo­saic Place.

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