Well. What to write about? There’s so many choices.
First off, these were two vital points for the Tips. Wins have been hard to come by for Everett of late, and the Tips couldn’t afford to give anything away to a struggling Warriors team. Frankly, Everett never should have allowed this one to reach overtime. The Tips outshot the Warriors 39-19 and led 3-1 going into the third period, but couldn’t hold it as Moose Jaw tied it with 33.4 seconds remaining.
Then the shootout. The first five shooters were all denied, bringing Everett’s Manraj Hayer to the ice for the most unusual shootout winner I’ve ever seen. Hayer lost control of the puck the moment he touched it, sending it all the way to the left boards. He chased it down, sort of sauntered in on goal from a tight angle, put on the brakes in front of Moose Jaw goalie Justin Paulic to pull the puck onto his forehand, then tucked it into the near corner to end the game.
That’s when the fun began. As the Tips started celebrating, Moose Jaw captain Sam Fioretti skated out to plead with the officials that Hayer’s attempt shouldn’t have counted, claiming the puck’s forward momentum came to a stop. The Tips completed their celebration and were already back in the locker room while the Warriors were still on the bench and Fioretti was still talking to the officials.
The officials finally left the ice, meaning the Warriors had no choice but to head back to the locker room themselves. As they were leaving the bench, some idiot fan grabbed a Moose Jaw player’s stick and started yanking it away. I was having flashbacks to the 2007 riot game against Portland, and it has to be said the Warriors displayed amazing restraint — especially considering how hot they were — to prevent the incident from escalating into something nasty.
At the second-period media timeout, Everett was outshooting Moose Jaw 24-10, but trailing 1-0, leading to visions of recent games in which the Tips couldn’t convert shots into goals. But late in the second Everett finally opened the floodgates, scoring twice in 22 seconds to take the lead and getting a third another 1:53 later to gain control of the game.
First star: Cole MacDonald, Everett. One goal and one assist, provided offense from the blue line.
Second star: Brayden Point, Moose Jaw. Two assists, lived up to the pregame billing.
Third star: Dawson Leedahl, Everett. One assist, had some good set-ups.
The Herald’s honorable mention: Tanner Eberle, Moose Jaw. Two goals, both in the third period, to get the Warriors a point.