Prince Albert, SK — The Moose Jaw Warriors started the final week of the regular season on a strong note on Friday night.
The Warriors went into Prince Albert and picked up a 5-3 win over the Raiders at the Art Hauser Centre.
“We didn’t like having them tie up the game and giving up a couple of power play goals, but overall, I thought we did some good things and pretty pleased with the performance,” Warriors assistant coach Gord Burnett said.
“It was good to see the young guys get some ice time, looks like they’ve made some improvements over the year and I thought they did a good job.”
Jagger Firkus had two goals in the win for the Warriors, giving him a team-high 40 on the season. Ryder Korczak added a goal and two points, while Denton Mateychuk and Atley Calvert picked up two assists each.
The Warriors now have five wins in their last six games as they build towards the 2023 WHL Playoffs next week.
“All these games, we’ve talked about is getting ready for the playoffs,” Burnett said. “Making sure that we’re doing some of the little things that we’ve talk about and we’ve tweaked in what we’re trying to do coming down the stretch here, and the guys have done a good job of focusing on that.”
The Warriors came out of the gates strong on Friday and picked up a goal from Ben Riche, his eighth of the season, midway through the first period.
Moose Jaw was able to extend its lead in the second period when Firkus and Logan Dowhaniuk scored 1:33 apart to make it 3-0 just before the midway point of the game.
The Raiders would respond before the end of the second period when Sloan Stanick cut the lead to two after two.
Some penalty trouble cost the Warriors midway through the third when Niall Crocker and Stanick scored back-to-back power play goals to tie the game at 3-3 with just over four minutes left to play.
Less than a minute after Stanick tied the game, Korczak answered back for the Warriors, scoring his 28th of the season to restore the lead.
Firkus sealed the win with a power play goal with just over two minutes left in the game.
Jackson Unger made 29 saves in the win as the Warriors were outshot 32-30 by the Raiders.
Moose Jaw will finish the regular season on Saturday when it hosts the Saskatoon Blades at the Moose Jaw Events Centre. Puck drops at 7 p.m.
Saturday is YARA Awards Night as the Warriors will honour the 2022-23 season’s top performers. The awards ceremony begins at 6:50 p.m.
Tune into all the action live on CHL TV and Country 100, starting with the IKS Media Warriors Live Pre-Game Show on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube at 6:35 p.m.
Also with Lethbridge’s win over Red Deer, the Warriors will now face the Hurricanes in the first round of the 2023 WHL Playoffs. Click here for more information.