The Warman U15AA Wildcats may have played one their best games of the year in a 7-2 loss to the powerhouse Martensville Marauders at the Martensville Arena on Friday, January 26.

The Martensville squad took advantage of every small chink in Warman’s armour to take a 3-0 lead in the first period, thanks to a pair of goals by Dade Wotherspoon and a single by Dawson Baht. Martensville’s Cruz Harrison netted the lone marker of the second period.

The Warman squad entered the third period very determined and controlled play for the first half of the period. They were rewarded by a pair of goals by Kade Kahovec. 

Warman U15AA Wildcats goaltender Mason Hatzel makes a glove save on a point blank shot by Martensville Marauders’ Dade Wotherspoon

With six minutess left in the game, Wotherspoon broke free and buried his hat trick goal.

With Warman’s goalie pulled for an extra attacker, Martensville’s Cruz Hamilton gained control and scored an empty-net goal.

Wotherspoon finished the scoring by finding the net with one second remaining.

The final score was not a reflection of how close the game was.

Both goaltenders were outstanding. Warman’s Mason Hatzel made 34 saves while Martensville’s Austin Adamus had 26 saves in the win.

Martensville coach Shaun Priel had high praise for their opposition. 

“They worked  hard tonight,” said Priel. “They are a good team, they work hard and are well coached.

“The difference in the game is we have more high-end players than they did. Our high-end guys can put the puck in the net and do some special things.”

Warman head coach Jason Sawatzky was pleased with his team’s effort.

“I thought we played well and this gives us something to build on,” said Sawatzky. “The boys have been working hard and it showed today. The last time we played these guys we lost 14-1. It was 5-2 when we pulled our goalie. If we score we make it close.

“We are trying to play a little bit more defensively,” Sawatzky added. “We’re trying as a team to work together collaberately as a group to stop them. It worked okay for the most part.”

The win placed Martensville in a tie with Humboldt and Prince Albert for first place in the North Division standings of the Saskatchewan AA Hockey League.

“We want to get ourselves as high as we can in the standings for the playoffs,” said Priel. “Our goal is to finish in first place, get the advantage of being the home team and when you get to the second round you are playing the lowest seed, as opposed to the second or third seed.”

A strong work ethic combined with high level skills is the key to success.

“We want get to the spot where we are competing every night and be consistent in our play,” said Priel.