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Senior Warriors edged by Morinville again

Club drops 4-3 decision to fall to 4-6-0-1; pair of home games slated for Jan. 21-22
WES - Jan 14 Sr Warriors 4
Westlock Senior Warriors’ Kyle Dronyk may have been squeezed out on this play by a Morinville defender during their Jan. 14 tilt at the Rotary Spirit Centre, but had the game’s first goal, his ninth of the season. Despite rolling to a first-period 2-1 lead, the Warriors gave up three-straight goals in the second and third periods and dropped the contest 4-3. Spencer Kemp-Boulet/WN

WESTLOCK - The Westlock Senior Warriors got the hot start they wanted Friday night versus the Morinville Kings, but couldn’t keep the momentum going, giving up three-unanswered goals in the second and third periods to drop the game 4-3.

The Jan. 14 loss at the Rotary Spirit Centre, the second to Morinville in less than a month, has the club sitting at 4-6-0-1 and in sixth place in the North Central Hockey league  — the Warriors fell 4-2 to the Kings back on Dec. 18.

Captain Mike Ivey said despite the defeat the boys weren’t hanging their heads as Morinville is currently in third in the league with an 8-3-0-1 mark and are tied for the most goals-for, putting up 68 in only 12 contests.

“We love playing them, they’re kind of our rivals. I just wish we could have bought another goal and turned it into a win. But it was a good battle from us,” said Ivey Sunday afternoon.

“We’re happy with our record right now and we’re right in the mix in the middle of the standings. We have three or four one-goal losses that could have gone our way and that would have completely changed our record. But the guys are having a lot of fun and they have a positive outlook on how the season is going and how we’re playing heading to the playoffs.”

Versus the Kings Friday night, the Warriors ruled the first period and took a 2-1 advantage to the dressing room on goals from Kyle Dronyk and Brett Kampjes — the powerplay marker from Kampjes came with 53 seconds left in the frame.

And despite playing a fast-paced second where they managed to fire 15 shots at the Morinville tender, it was the Kings who took the lead.

“I thought we outplayed them in the second, but their goalie just shut the door on us,” said Ivey.

Morinville went on to score two in the second and then took a 4-2 advantage with just under 10 minutes to go in the third. A goal from Scott Ivey with 7:07 remaining brought the Warriors to within one, but it was as close as they would come — Scott ended the night leading the club with two points and was named second star.

Both goalies were also strong throughout, with Warriors keeper Jordan Brand turning aside 29 of the 33 pucks he faced, while the Morinville goalie, Chase Mudryk, was named third star turning aside 31 of the 34 shots directed his way.

The Warriors were supposed to play back-to-back home games over the weekend, but the Saturday-night tilt versus the league-leading Lacombe Generals was pushed back to this Friday, Jan. 21, at 8:30 p.m. due to COVID-19 issues with the Generals. The following night, Jan. 22, the Warriors will then host the Fort Saskatchewan Chiefs with puck drop slated for 7:45 p.m.

With the standings relatively tight, these final few weekends will determine the first-round playoff battles which will begin the first weekend in February.

“There’s so much that can still happen in the standings and I don’t remember seeing it like this before,” said Ivey. “Devon is on our tail and we’re just behind Fort Saskatchewan. Morinville and Red Deer basically tied near the top so I don’t think it will be decided until the last weekend of the season.”

George Blais,

George Blais

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