Moose Jaw, SK – The Moose Jaw Warriors finished off their extended weekend home-and-home set against the Swift Current Broncos on a high note.
Denton Mateychuk had two goals and four points as the Warriors rolled to a 7-3 win over the Broncos at the Moose Jaw Events on Sunday afternoon.
“All the guys are hungry to get into the playoffs and get going from there, so that was a big contribution to [Sunday’s performance],” Mateychuk said after the game.
The Warriors have now won three straight games as they extended their lead to seven points on Lethbridge for fourth place, and home-ice advantage, in the Eastern Conference.
After having to come back to win the first half of the home-and-home on Friday, Warriors assistant coach Gord Burnett said the team was ready to come out of the gates in the rematch.
“As far as our chances and the way we played the game, I thought we did a pretty good job,” he said. “They’re a desperate hockey team and they came out to play, but I thought our guys did a better job, especially off the start, than we did in Swift Current.”
Mateychuk led the way, scoring his first goal since Nov. 29 in the win.
“It was about time, I had lots of chances and was finally able to put one home,” he said.
“It was a playoff-style game and you want to show the way for everybody, show that you’re working hard and guys will follow, so that’s what I try to do every night.”
Logan Dowhaniuk, Ryder Korczak, and Jagger Firkus all had a goal and two points each in the win, while Tate Schofer and Brayden Yager also found the back of the net for the Warriors.
Dowhaniuk opened the scoring with his third of the season just 7:22 into the game.
The Warriors kept pushing and Firkus finished off a great feed from Martin Rysavy for his 33rd of the season only 5:01 later.
Mateychuk’s first of the night on the power play only 3:59 after that put the Warriors in front 3-0 late in the first period.
The Broncos would get on the board with one minute left in the opening frame as Mathew Ward scored to make it 3-1 after one.
Tate Schofer struck just 3:05 into the second period to put the Warriors up by three once again, but the lead was short-lived as Sam McGinley answered back only 30 seconds later.
Just 1:20 after that Brady Birnie scored for the Broncos to cut the lead down to one.
The Warriors would go back up by three late in the period when Korczak scored his 25th of the season and then Yager followed it up with a shorthanded marker for his 26th of the year.
Mateychuk’s second of the night on the power play in the third period sealed the win for the Warriors.
Jackson Unger was sharp again, making 28 saves on the night.
“We’ve clinched now and there are only so many games left, we just needed that in the back of our heads, this is what the playoffs are going to be like, and try to prepare ourselves whatever way we can,” Mateychuk said.
The Warriors are off now until they battle the Regina Pats in a home-and-home next weekend. The two sides meet in Regina on Friday and then shift to a sold-out Hangar on Saturday night.