Assiniboia, SK — Three goals in the third period helped power the Moose Jaw Warriors past the Swift Current Broncos in preseason action on Saturday night.
Jagger Firkus and Atley Calvert had a hat trick each and combined for11 points in the 7-4 win for the Warriors.
“I didn’t really play too much with [Jagger] last season because he always playing with [Brayden Yager], but it was fun, I enjoy playing with Firk, he’s a great player,” Calvert said after the game.
For the first time ever, the Warriors travelled down to Assiniboia to host the game at a sold-out Southland Co-op Centre in front of 1,300 fans.
Warriors head coach Mark O’Leary said the big crowd gave the game a regular season feel.
“It was great,” he said. “It’s important for our guys to have nights like this, we talk about being a small community, but the surrounding area as well and it was a great atmosphere, exhibition games don’t usually have that much juice in the building, so it was great all around.”
Calvert said the players fed off the big crowd.
“Any time you think of a preseason game, you think like 150 people in the stands, but then you go out there and it’s jam packed, the atmosphere was great,” he said.
“We really appreciate all the fans coming out and we hope we can do it again next year.”
The Warriors came out of the gates firing with Firkus scoring just 29 seconds into the game.
Firkus added his second of the night just over seven minutes into the game to make it 2-0.
In the second period, Calvert scored his first of the night to put the Warriors in front 3-1 just before the midway point of the frame, but the Broncos responded with three straight goals to take a 4-3 lead.
Lynden Lakovic evened the game up with just over four minutes to go in the second, making it 4-4 after two.
In the third, Calvert scored a pair of power play goals to allow the Warriors to pull away. Firkus finished his hat trick with an empty net goal in the final minute.
“The second period was just a few tough bounces, but I thought through 60 minutes tonight, we were the better team,” O’Leary said. “We didn’t capitalize on a couple of opportunities earlier on, we got running around a little bit in the defensive zone, but we played our game in the third and deserved the win.”
Jackson Unger turned away 29 of 33 shots to backstop the Warriors to the win, as Moose Jaw outshot Swift Current 36-33.
The Warriors were 2-for-3 on the power play and for the second straight game, didn’t give up a power play opportunity to the Broncos.
The Warriors finish up the preseason next weekend with a home-and-home against the Brandon Wheat Kings which can be heard on Country 100.
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