Brayden Yager broke his hometown team’s heart in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Championship, presented by Nutrien, on Friday.

The Saskatoon product scored the overtime winner for the Moose Jaw Warriors in a 4-3 win over the Blades at SaskTel Centre.

“It felt great,” Yager said after the series-opening win.

“Our line wasn’t too happy with our game, overtime is the reset button and a new game and I thought we had a better overtime and to score in my hometown feels pretty good.”

The opening game of the Eastern Conference Championship series lived up to expectations with Saskatoon building a 2-0 lead early in the second and Moose Jaw fighting back to take a 3-2 lead late in third.

Egor Sidorov scored with his team’s net empty to tie the game with 1:27 to go in regulation to send the game to extra time.

“We were on our heels for most of the first and it’s the players and their talk, we’re never out of it because I know they’re staying positive, they stick with it and once we got that first one, energy went to our legs for sure,” Warriors head coach Mark O’Leary said.

This was the sixth straight game that the Warriors have given up the first goal with the team winning the last five straight.

O’Leary said the team keeping a positive outlook is key to battling back.

“The guys, they just have the mindset that whatever happens, it’s okay, you get back up in a hurry and you punch back and we did that tonight,” he said.

Saskatoon opened the scoring just 3:05 into the game when Charlie Wright’s point shot found its way through traffic.

Just 1:59 into the second, the Blades took a 2-0 on a blast from Sidorov, but the Warriors answered back only 14 seconds later when Brayden Schuurman scored his third of the playoffs.

The Warriors tied the game just under six minutes later when Atley Calvert tipped home his fourth of the post-season.

In the third, the Warriors took their first lead of the game when Matthew Savoie fired home his eighth of the playoffs with just 4:52 to go in regulation.

The Blades responded with just 1:27 left on the clock as Sidorov’s shot went off a Warriors’ stick and into the net for his second of the game.

With 7:26 to go in the first overtime, Yager took a feed in the slot and lifted home his eighth of the playoffs to give the Warriors a big road win in Game 1.

“Throughout the whole year, our group has been super resilient, we’ve had some tough games, but our group has been resilient all year and it was another example tonight,” Yager said.

Jackson Unger stopped 28 of 31 shots in the win for the Warriors, while Moose Jaw was outshot 31-26 on the night.

The Warriors went 1-for-1 on the penalty kill and didn’t get a power play opportunity in the game.

These two sides will now meet for Game 2 at SaskTel Centre on Saturday night.