Moose Jaw, SK — In an Eastern Conference clash with playoff implications, the Moose Jaw Warriors put their best foot forward on Saturday night.
The Warriors doubled up the Red Deer Rebels, 6-3, to sweep their two-game weekend home-stand.
“The last few games have felt like playoff games, they’re hard, heavy games, quick, fast, both teams are able to make plays with it and that’s what we can expect moving forward, so it’s great to come out with a win,” Warriors assistant coach Curtis Pereverzoff said.
The win was the 30th of the season for the Warriors, who move past Red Deer in the Eastern Conference standings and now sit tied for second place with the Medicine Hat Tigers.
Martin Rysavy had two goals in the win, while Matthew Savoie and Brayden Schuurman added a goal and an assist each.
Savoie said the Warriors did a good job checking against a hard and physical Rebels team.
“Those are the adjustments that good teams have to make to find success and be able to win games, every team plays such a different style that once you’re into the mix of lots of different games, you need to adapt quickly, so we’ve done a good job preparing for the team upcoming,” he said.
The Rebels came out of the gates hard and took an early lead on the Warriors when Jeremiah Roberts tipped in a point shot just 2:50 into the game.
Moose Jaw found its stride as the first period went on and got on the board when Atley Calvert set up Rysavy for his 16th of the season with 6:01 left in the period.
The Warriors would move in front when Savoie put home his 16th of the season on the power play with 1:36 left in the first.
Rysavy added to the Warriors lead just past the midway point of the second period, scoring his second of the night and 17th of the season.
Then with the Warriors on the penalty kill, Jagger Firkus forced a turnover in the neutral zone, broke in and lifted home his 39th of the season with two minutes to go in the second.
The Rebels cut the lead back down to two early in the third on a goal from Kai Uchacz, but Brayden Schuurman responded only 46 seconds later to restore the three-goal lead.
Just over two minutes after that, Calvert tapped home his 30th of the season to extend the Warriors’ lead to 6-2.
Carson Birnie added a late goal for the Rebels.
“We knew they were going to come out hard, especially after their game [Friday], they wanted to try to dictate the play and for us, we had to take a couple of shifts to establish our game plan, but once we did that, we were able to set in and make sure we were playing to our details,” Pereverzoff said.
Jackson Unger stopped 23 shots for his league-leading 26th win of the season. It’s also his 12th consecutive start with a win.
The Warriors outshot the Rebels, 35-26, on the night, while going 1-for-3 on the power play and 4-for-5 on the penalty kill.
Moose Jaw returns to action on Tuesday when the Edmonton Oil Kings come to the Hangar.