Moose Jaw, SK — The Moose Jaw Warriors kicked off February on the right foot with a hard fought win on Friday night.
Atley Calvert and Lynden Lakovic scored in the third period as the Warriors topped the Prince Albert Raiders, 3-1, at the Moose Jaw Events Centre.
“[Prince Albert], they’re known for being physical, I thought we did a pretty good job with it, we tailed it with some big hits of our own,” Lakovic said after the win.
The win was big in the Eastern Conference standings as the Warriors moved into a tie for third place with the Red Deer Rebels and now sit just two points behind Medicine Hat for second.
Warriors associate coach Scott King said Moose Jaw had to battle to come away with two points against the Raiders.
“They make you earn every inch out there, so kind of a playoff game tonight with how hard it was to battle and get inside, they do a good job of defending home plate and as the game went along, we did better at getting inside,” he said.
The Warriors generated a number of scoring chances early in the game, but despite outshooting the Raiders, 14-5, in the first period, they came out scoreless.
That changed early in the second period when Jagger Firkus wired home his 38th of the season just 2:12 into the frame to open the scoring.
The score stayed that way until the Warriors were back on the power play eight minutes into the third period, when a turnover behind their net led to a shorthanded goal by Harrison Lodewyk to tie the game.
Just over three minutes later, the Warriors struck back as Calvert broke in and buried his 29th of the season.
Only 24 seconds after that, Rilen Kovacevic threaded a beautiful pass to Lakovic, who put home his 11th of the season to make it a 3-1 game.
“Kov did an amazing job finding me there, I don’t know how he did,” Lakovic said.
The Warriors have now won 12 of their last 14 games after Friday night’s win.
King said the team’s response after Prince Albert’s shorthanded goal was key to the win.
“Any time you get one to go against you when you’re on the power play, those can sway a game, they’re really deflating, so good for the guys to step up and for Atley to get that one a couple minutes later,” he said.
The Warriors outshot the Raiders, 34-28, on the night, while finishing 1-for-3 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill.
Moose Jaw will now get set for a big showdown with the Rebels on Saturday night at the Moose Jaw Events Centre. Puck drops at 7 p.m.