Swift Current, SK — Four straight goals in the third period helped the Moose Jaw Warriors strike first in their home-and-home series with the Swift Current Broncos.
The Warriors skated to a 5-3 win over the Broncos on Friday night at the InnovationPlex to open the weekend set between the two rivals.
“I’m super proud of everyone in the room, it was a character win and I like those kind of wins,” Warriors forward Jagger Firkus said after the game.
Moose Jaw fell behind 3-1 early in the third period, but struck for two goals in 20 seconds to tie the game and then added two more in the back half of the period to win it.
Firkus continued his offensive tear with a hat trick in the win, giving him 35 goals and a league-leading 80 points so far this season. He also extended his point streak to 16 games and his multi-point streak to seven.
“That game had a different feel, different level, different intensity,” Warriors associate coach Scott King said.
“Obviously gut check time, down 3-1 early in the third period and to come back and battle back like we did, we need to be able to do that in the playoffs, so it’s a good thing to start now.”
The Broncos opened the scoring only 41 seconds into the game on a goal from Mathew Ward.
The Warriors answered back late in the period when Firkus slide home his first of the game to tie things up after one.
After a scoreless second period, the Broncos came out on the attack to start the third and picked up goals from Ward and Conor Geekie in the first 4:10 to take a 3-1 lead.
Only 1:50 later, the Warriors responded when Firkus tipped home a point shot from Connor Schmidt to cut the lead to one.
Just 20 seconds later, Ethan Semeniuk buried his eighth of the season to tie the game back up at 3-3.
With eight minutes left in the third, Atley Calvert scored his 26th of the season to put Moose Jaw in front and Firkus sealed the win with an empty net goal with 1:51 to play.
The win was the fourth straight for the Warriors and ninth in the last ten games. It was the seventh straight game that Moose Jaw has scored at least five goals.
Firkus said the team feels good about where they are right now.
“With the atmosphere, all the Moose Jaw fans that came out, it was pretty cool with them chanting and stuff and we appreciate that,” he said.
Jackson Unger made 26 saves in the win for the Warriors. Moose Jaw outshot Swift Current, 32-29, on the night.
The Warriors went 0-for-1 on the power play, while finishing 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.
These two teams will now meet for a rematch on Saturday night at the Moose Jaw Events Centre. Puck drops at 7 p.m