Red Deer, AB — For the second time in a week, the Moose Jaw Warriors out battled the Red Deer Rebels.
The Warriors went into Red Deer and topped the Rebels, 6-4, on Friday night to open a two-game Alberta road trip.
“Right from the start, we had momentum, we had chances, they came back at us and credit to them, they’re a team that pushes back hard and I thought it was back-and-forth for a lot of it,” Warriors assistant coach Curtis Pereverzoff said.
The win in the fourth straight for the Warriors and the 15th in the last 17 games. It also helps move them into sole possession of second place in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of Medicine Hat.
Warriors captain Denton Mateychuk led the charge with a goal and four points on the night. He now sits tied for third all-time in points by a defenceman in franchise history, equalling Chris Armstrong’s 192 career points.
Pereverzoff said he liked the resilience shown by the team throughout the game.
“Close out periods scoring a goal, everyone knows that’s important to try and build some momentum heading into the next period and we scored timely goals throughout the night,” he said.
Atley Calvert opened the scoring for the Warriors with his 34th of the season on the power play just 9:03 into the game.
Red Deer answered back just over a minute later with two goals in two minutes as Kalan Lind and Jace Weir pulled the Rebels in front.
The Warriors would steal momentum back as Denton Mateychuk buried his 13th of the season, on the power play, with just 0.4 seconds remaining in the first.
Moose Jaw rode that momentum into the second period and Matthew Savoie converted for his 17th of the season just 3:46 into the frame.
Then, the Warriors would score in the final minute of the period once again as Martin Rysavy finished on a great feed from Jagger Firkus to make it 4-2 after two.
The score stayed that way until there was just over four minutes to play and Red Deer cut the lead to one when Talon Brigley slide it home. The goal was initially called off, but overturned after a lengthy review.
With momentum on the Rebels’ side, the Warriors answered back as Calvert banked in a goal just 1:08 later for his 35th and restoring the two-goal lead.
Brayden Yager would slide it into an empty net with 1:56 remaining to give Moose Jaw some more breathing room.
Carson Birnie added a goal for the Rebels with one minute to go, but it wasn’t enough.
Yager and Savoie had a goal and two points each, while Firkus added three assists to become the first player in the Canadian Hockey League to hit 90 points.
Firkus has also tied Mateychuk’s modern franchise record with a 23-game point streak.
The Warriors went 2-for-4 on the power play and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill in the win, while Jackson Unger turned away 25-of-29 shots and Red Deer outshot Moose Jaw, 29-26.
The Warriors continue their road trip on Saturday afternoon in Calgary against the Hitmen. Puck drops at 3 p.m. Saskatchewan time.