The Moose Jaw Warriors went into the Veterans Memorial Coliseum and took both games to open the 2024 WHL Championship Series, presented by Nutrien.

The Warriors took a 2-0 series lead on the Portland Winterhawks with a 5-1 win in Game 2 on Saturday night.

“Just real proud of the effort,” Warriors head coach Mark O’Leary said. “We talked all day about what we were going to expect from Portland, a hard push, second one at home here and I just thought we came ready to go.”

Jagger Firkus helped the Warriors secure the win with two third-period goals and added a helper.

After Portland scored in the final minute of the second, Firkus stole the momentum back, putting the Warriors in front 4-1 just 15 seconds into the third.

“It’s important, we’re only up two goals, they’re a team that can score goals pretty and the start [of the period] was what we were talking about in the room,” Firkus said.

Brayden Yager finished with a goal and two points, while Martin Rysavy had two assists in the victory.

Jackson Unger was stellar between the pipes, turning away 37 shots on the night.

“He’s playing his best hockey of the season,” O’Leary said. “When he’s at his best, he’s calm and he competes in his crease and that’s what we see here tonight.”

Atley Calvert opened the scoring for the Warriors just 5:48 into the game, giving Moose Jaw the opening goal in back-to-back games.

Pavel McKenzie put the Warriors up by two midway through the second with his second of the playoffs.

Yager would make it 3-0 for Moose Jaw with two minutes to go in the second when he snapped home his 11th of the playoffs.

Portland got on the board only 1:03 later when Nate Danielson snapped home a chance in the slot.

The Warriors took back control just 15 seconds into the third when Firkus stole the puck and snapped home his 13th of the playoffs.

Firkus would seal the victory with his 14th of the playoffs just 5:35 into the third.

“We’re just buying into the D zone and that’s where a lot of our offence has come throughout the playoffs and it was no different tonight,” Firkus said. “A lot of our goals was a D zone play that ended up in the back of their net.”

The Warriors outshot the Winterhawks, 38-27, in the win, while Moose Jaw would go 0-for-2 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill.

The Warriors will now return home to a sold-out Hangar with a 2-0 series lead heading into Game 3 on Tuesday.