The U18 AAA Moose Jaw Warriors took a while to get going, but once they did, they left the Yorkton Maulers in the dust.

The Warriors won 7-1 in their regular-season opener at Mosaic Place yesterday, getting scoring from a few different sources. Warriors head coach Trevor Weisgerber talked about his team changing from being merely OK in the first period to playing more like he wanted them to in the second and third period.

“I think it just came down to doing the little things, like getting hard to the net, competing and winning those battles,” he said. “In the first, it was almost like we were OK, we’d win the odd one and we’re content to being second on pucks and not winning puck battles in front of the net, whereas in the second and third, we won all the battles.”

The Warriors played a couple of exhibition games the previous weekend but Sunday was their first competitive game they’ve seen since defeating the Saskatoon Contacts out of the league playoffs in March.

“It’s been a long time that the guys have had off,” Weisgerber said. “But the second and third came and we played very well.”

The Warriors got a pair of goals from Riley Niven, while linemate Atley Calvert got three assists.

Once again the Warriors’ captain, Calvert’s leadership has helped the team since rejoining the squad in anticipation of the Western Hockey League season starting soon.

“It’s the same as last year, he just does everything well,” said Weisgerber. “Whether he’s scoring or getting assists, I think it’s kind of irrelevant. He’s always in the right spots and he’s always making the right plays. He’s always going to be around the puck.”

Jackson Allan, Kirk Mullen, Wyatt Wilson and Hayden Wilm scored the other Moose Jaw goals.

Goaltender Kael DePape stopped 13 of 14 Yorkton shots.

The Warriors’ next action is Friday at home to the Notre Dame Hounds, and they head to Notre Dame Sunday afternoon for the return match.