The Warriors’ Men’s hockey Team capped-off their 2018-19 season with a 5-4 shootout victory at home against the Windsor Lancers.
Defenceman Mike Moffat led the Warriors in scoring with two points while goaltender Julian Sime earned the victory with 19 saves on the night.
The Warriors started off quickly, scoring two goals within the opening four minutes, and really got the crowd going.
Forward Michael Morgan scored on a wrist shot just over two minutes in before Moffat capitalized on a strong forecheck a minute later.
The Warriors continued to dominate play until forward Keigan Goetz was assessed a five-minute major penalty and game misconduct for his illegal hit from behind on a Lancer forward.
The Warriors’ penalty kill bailed them out to keep a 2-0 lead, but the team lost their momentum as they concluded the first frame.
Keeping the momentum going from their power play at the end of the first, the Lancers stepped up their play to begin the second frame, and an aggressive forecheck by the Lancers’ second line led to a goal that cut their deficit in half.
The Warriors slowed down the pace of the game and Nick Chyzowski ground out a power play goal at the halfway mark to put the team up 3-1. Forward Zac Coulter added another before the end of the second giving the Warriors a healthy 4-1 lead at the end of the second.
The third period was very physical with both teams making big open-ice hits inside the first minute of the period.
The game remained mainly between the blue lines with only five minutes left, as the crowd anticipated a Warriors victory.
In an effort to keep the game under control, the referees began blowing whistles more frequently.
This meant the Warriors found themselves in the penalty box, which allowed the Lancers to score three unanswered goals in the final five minutes to tie the game and force overtime.
The 3-on-3 overtime was exciting, with many back-and-forth rushes until the Lancers’ Brennan Feasey took a penalty to give the Warriors a power play. The Warriors managed to create many scoring chances, but Windsor goaltender Jonathan Reinhart made several impressive saves and extended the game to a shootout. The goalies were the stars of the shootout, as both goalies, Reinhart and Sime, traded saves until the fourth round when Coulter won the game with a well-placed wrist shot.
The win ended an up and down season for the Warriors, who finish the year with 25 points, only one shy of a playoff berth in the competitive OUA West Division. The team’s final record was 12-16-5, a significant improvement from last season.
The team’s statistical leaders for the season are as follows:
Goals: Markson Bechtold (9)
Assists: Cam Nicoll (14)
Points: Cam Nicoll (22)
Penalty Minutes: Nick Halagian (68)
Wins: Julian Sime (6)
GAA: Julian Sime (3.23)
Save Percentage: Julian Sime (.908)