The Moose Jaw Warriors put together a big bounce back performance on Tuesday night in downtown Moose Jaw.
After a disappointing loss to Red Deer on Saturday, the Warriors rolled to a 7-2 win over the Edmonton Oil Kings at the Moose Jaw Events Centre to open a busy week.
“We came out with a good effort tonight and I thought we did a good job of staying focused even when the game got a little bit out of hand,” Warriors assistant coach Gord Burnett said.
Max Wanner returned to the Warriors’ lineup with a bang, posting a career-high two goals and four points in the win.
Burnett said it was good to have the Edmonton Oilers prospect back on the ice.
“He played really well,” he said. “He’s a big, physical guy, he protects the puck, he checks hard, so when he’s out of the lineup, it hurts and it’s always good to have him back in.”
Atley Calvert added a goal and three points, while Brayden Yager and Jagger Firkus had a goal and two points each. Denton Mateychuk and Nathan Pilling added goals in the victory.
Jackson Unger turned away 25 shots to earn his second win of the season in net for the Warriors.
“I definitely felt a lot more calm in there,” Unger said. “It’s a lot easier game in front of me when the boys play that well and we get some early goals.”
Unger is now 2-4-0-0 in six games this season. He said he’s been working on the little things in his game.
“There was a couple of power plays at the beginning of the second that gave us a little hiccup, but Edmonton didn’t do a real good job of screening, so I saw a lot of pucks on those chances and had good control of my rebounds,” he said.
Burnett said it was nice to see the young goaltender put together a strong game.
“It’s about getting him going and getting him comfortable in the net again and getting him some more games. We all know he’s a very capable goaltender and just has to get some more minutes under his belt and he’ll be rolling like Connor [Ungar] is,” he said.
Wanner opened the scoring with back-to-back goals just 4:35 apart in the first period.
Yager added to the Warriors’ lead with 1:32 left in the opening frame, banging home a rebound in front for his eighth of the season.
The Oil Kings fought back early in the second period and Moose Jaw product Jaxsen Wiebe scored just 2:56 into the frame to make it a 3-1 game.
After some pressure from the Oil Kings on the power play, Mateychuk swung momentum back in the Warriors’ favour with a highlight reel goal just past the midway point of the second.
Calvert extended the lead with his eighth of the season with 4:17 left in the second.
With 47 seconds left in the middle frame, Firkus snapped home his eighth of the season, tying Yager and Calvert for the team lead in goals, and making it a 6-1 game after two.
Wiebe scored his second of the night midway through the third, but Pilling finished off the win for the Warriors with his fourth of the season in the final five minutes.
The Warriors improve to 10-6-0-0 this season with the win.
Burnett said the team will rest a bit on Wednesday and then get back to work on Thursday for a big weekend home-and-home against Medicine Hat.
“We’ll go into Medicine Hat and make sure we have a lot of energy and our legs are good,” he said. “If we just stick to our game, our habits and details, that’s what we’re looking for right now.”
The Warriors head to Medicine Hat on Friday and then host the Tigers on Saturday at the Hangar.