A return to the Hangar was just what the doctor ordered for the Moose Jaw Warriors on Thursday night.
Needing a bounce back performance, the Warriors secured a 4-3 overtime win over the Brandon Wheat Kings at the Moose Jaw Events Centre.
“It was a big game for us, we didn’t get the results in Alberta and we came ready to work tonight,” Warriors forward Atley Calvert said. “It was a little closer than we would have liked, but at the end of the day, you get a W and feeling good again.”
Calvert led the charge for the Warriors scoring twice in the win with both goals coming right on top of the Wheat Kings’ crease.
He said he takes pride into going to the hard areas to score.
“I work a lot on that in practice, so it’s nice to get a couple to go in tonight,” he said. “I bet you 75 percent of the goals I score in this league are from the blue paint, so it’s definitely a skill, but anyone can do it, you’ve just got to be willing to go there.”
Jagger Firkus played the overtime hero, snipping his WHL-leading 18th goal of the season, while Lynden Lakovic had the other marker for the Warriors and Jackson Unger turned away 27 shots in the win.
Warriors assistant coach Curtis Pereverzoff said the Warriors did a good job of containing the Wheat Kings’ attack throughout the game.
“Brandon is a team that transitions well and they make a lot of their offence off the transition, so we knew that it was going to be a high energy game and I thought for most of the game, we did a good of controlling it,” he said.
“We had a few breakdowns here and there that they made us pay for, but at the end of the day, Jackson made the saves he needed to and Firk, obviously gets a chance like that, he’s going to put it in the net.”
Calvert scored with 1:15 left in the first period to open the scoring and then made it 2-0 for the Warriors only 2:02 into the second period.
The Wheat Kings didn’t go away though and picked up goals from Carter Klippenstein and Brett Hyland midway through the period to tie the game at 2-2.
Only nine seconds after Hyland’s goal, Lakovic responded for the Warriors wiring home his seventh of the season to make it 3-2 after two.
Nolan Flamand scored for the Wheat Kings early in the third to tie the game and that’s how it would stay, sending the game to overtime.
Just 1:32 into the extra frame, Firkus took a feed from Kalem Parker in the slot and wired home his league-leading fourth game-winning goal of the season.
Firkus is now leads the WHL with 35 points and is tied for the league lead with 18 goals.
The Warriors improve to 11-8-0-0 this season with the victory and sit just two points back of Saskatoon and Medicine Hat for first place in the Eastern Conference.
Moose Jaw will host the Tigers coming up on Friday night at the Moose Jaw Events Centre. Puck drops at 7 p.m.
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