Despite a good road effort in Moose Jaw on Saturday night, the Vancouver Giants lost their fourth in a row, falling by a score of 2-1 to the Warriors at Mosaic Place. Rookie net minder Zachary Sawchenko picked up the victory in his first WHL start while Payton Lee stopped 24 of 26 shots for Vancouver.
For the second night in a row, the Giants came out with a jump in their collective step. Vancouver controlled most of the first period and had a couple of good opportunities to open the scoring, but it was the Warriors who found the net against the run of play when Tyler Bell chipped his own rebound up and over a sprawling Lee to put the home team ahead.
Sam Fioretti made it 2-0 for Moose Jaw less than four minutes into the second when he capitalized on a neutral zone turnover, streaking down the right wing and firing a shot inside the left post. Todd Fiddler came close to giving the Warriors a three goal lead with a one-timer from the right circle, but Lee went from right to left to make a fantastic save. The Giants made it a one goal game in the second half of the period when Thomas Foster made a nice pass off the end boards to find Andreas Eder alone in the high slot, and the big German hammered a snap shot into the top shelf, picking up his first WHL goal. Lee was called into action again later in the period when Fiddler was awarded a penalty shot after getting tangled up with Brett Kulak on a rush up the ice, but Lee made a big stop to keep Vancouver within one goal.
The Giants threw everything but the kitchen sink at the Warriors in the third. Vancouver out shot Moose Jaw 11-5 and had numerous good scoring chances, including a goal mouth scramble late in the game that saw the puck trickle just inches wide of the right post. The Giants had a pair of power plays in the final frame as well, but in the end the Warriors held on for the win.
The Vancouver club will get back at it on Tuesday night in Prince Albert against the Raiders. Catch the call on TEAM 1410 and teamradio.ca. Pre-Game gets underway at 5:30pm followed by the puck drop at 6:00.
1. Sam Fioretti - Moose Jaw
2. Zachary Sawchenko - Moose Jaw
3. Payton Lee - Vancouver