The ICE should be scared heading back to Winnipeg. The Warriors came out at home and showed the ICE that they mean business. The ICE was manhandled in Game 3 and had a very hard-fought Game 4. To say that the Warriors are in control of this series would be an over-exaggeration. Winnipeg is going to need to play better going forward.
Game 3: ICE 4 – Warriors 8
Game 3 started off well for the ICE. They were actually up 2-0 seven minutes into the first period. With Zack Ostapchuk and Briley Wood scoring for Winnipeg. The next 40 minutes is where the ICE fell apart, being outscored 7-1. Again Daniel Hauser was chased out of the net, recording only 14 minutes of ice time while letting in three on eight shots. The problem was that Mason Beaupit was not better, letting in four goals in the 40 minutes following the ICE taking the 2-0 lead.
If there is any lesson to take from this game is that team defence needs to be a focus for this team. The goaltending needs to step up as well. Over the last two games, letting in 12 goals on 44 shots just is not a recipe for success. The Warrior’s top players in this game were Brayden Yager (3A), Jagger Firkus (2G 2A), and Ryder Korczak (1G 2A). Connor Ungar also stopped 25 of 29 shots he faced.
Game 4: ICE 3 – Warriors 2 (Overtime)
This was the game that everyone was expecting between these two teams. The goaltenders, after letting in 12 combined goals in Game 3, came to play in Game 4. The game was tied after one period of play after goals from Vladislav Shilo and Martin Rysavy. Matthew Savoie did not waste any time in the second period, as he scored only 55 seconds in. It took until 1:22 into the third to tie the game for the Warriors. At the end of regulation, the ICE was outshooting the Warriors 40-31. In overtime, the play was back and forward, but it took one shot to end this game. Literally one shot. The Warriors took a cross-checking penalty 11:04 into overtime, and Zack Ostapchuk would take advantage of that.
The goaltending was outstanding in this game, with Daniel Hauser stopping 29 of 31 shots he faced. While Connor Ungar stopped 38 of 41 shots, with a big 15 saves in the third, to get the game to overtime. This game was the goaltending duel that we thought we were not going to be getting, sadly; thankfully, we finally got one.
Ostapchuk has been the greatest addition to this team. He has seven points in seven playoff games with six goals. Zack finished the regular season with 21 goals and 38 points in 34 games for the ICE. He has been such a force since joining the ICE and has helped out offensively while being a stud at the faceoff dot.
Back To Winnipeg
The series is heading back to Winnipeg for Game 5. Moose Jaw seems to have control of this series right now. The last three games have shown that not only can the Warriors hang with the ICE, but they can also dominate them. If the ICE want to take control of this series, a win at home will go a long way to do so. Heading back to Moose Jaw down in the series, and the series on the line, is not something the ICE would like to do. Game 5 will be one of the biggest games of the year for the ICE.