The Moose Jaw Warriors finished off a complete flip of the team’s fortunes from the opening weekend.
Brayden Yager was the overtime hero as Moose Jaw knocked off the Regina Pats, 4-3, in overtime on Saturday night at the Brandt Centre, sweeping the team’s three games in four nights set.
“We’re headed in the right direction,” Yager said after Saturday’s win.
Yager finished with a goal and two points in the win, giving him three goals and five points in two games since returning from Pittsburgh Penguins training camp.
“When you’re playing with pretty good players, it definitely helps, but it’s been fun, it’s good to be back and I try to be a leader on the team and produce offence,” Yager said.
Regina scored late in the third period to force the game into the extra frame, but Yager won it after a great feed from Eric Alarie to set up the winner.
“That’s what we expect him to do, that’s what he expects himself to do as well,” Warriors assistant coach Curtis Pereverzoff said. “It was a great play by [Alarie] to find him and put it in a spot and you give the puck to [number] 29, he knows what to do with it."
The Warriors were able to answer the Pats throughout the game.
After Moose Jaw gave up a goal in the opening minute of the game, Jagger Firkus responded for the Warriors only a few minutes later, scoring a highlight reel goal for his third goal in three games since returning from training camp with the Seattle Kraken.
The Warriors took a 2-1 lead early in the second period when Connor Schmidt scored his first Western Hockey League goal just 2:56 into the middle frame.
Regina was able to tie the game in the final minute of the third, but the Warriors answered right back early in the third period when Lynden Lakovic scored his third of the season, setting a career-high in just the fifth game of the year.
Jackson Unger put together another solid performance between the pipes for the Warriors, making 30 saves for the third straight game.
After losing the first two games of the season last weekend, the Warriors improve to 3-2-0-0 on the year with three straight wins this week.
Pereverzoff said the team is feeling good about the way it has responded this week.
“We want to look at ways that we can continue to improve, but we have to be happy with the way the last three games went,” he said.
Yager said there is plenty for the team to build off coming out of this week.
“I watched the games when I was gone and I thought the young guys did pretty well and there’s things we can work on,” he said. “Moving forward, just try to clean up the little things in our own end and we’ve got a lot of momentum now and we’ll carry that into next weekend.”
The Warriors return to the ice next weekend when they travel to Alberta to face Lethbridge on Friday and Medicine Hat on Saturday.
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