Winnipeg, MB — It took 10 attempts for the Moose Jaw Warriors, but they finally knocked off the ICE in Winnipeg.
The Warriors went into the Wayne Fleming Arena on Wednesday night and came back to win 6-4 over the ICE.
“Over the past few years, we’ve had some tough nights in here and the scores have been lopsided the other way, so to get one tonight, it gives the guys confidence that if we do run into this team down the road that we can play in this building,” Warriors assistant coach Scott King said.
The Warriors win the season series with the East Division champion ICE, going 3-2-0-1 over their six games this season.
The win also secured home-ice advantage in the first round of the 2023 WHL Playoffs for the Warriors and gave the team 40 wins on the season for the eighth time in franchise history.
“Any time you get 40 wins in a year, that’s a really successful season,” King said.
Brayden Yager had two goals, while Jagger Firkus and Ryder Korczak had a goal and three points each in the win.
The Warriors scored first when Josh Hoekstra buried his 10th of the season midway through the first period.
Winnipeg would strike back, however, with goals from Matthew Savoie, Evan Friesen, and Zack Ostapchuk over the second half of the first to take a 3-1 lead.
Moose Jaw put together a stellar middle frame to battle their way back, starting with back-to-back goals from Yager, giving him 28 on the season.
Only 1:39 after Yager’s second, Atley Calvert scored a power-play goal to give the Warriors a 4-3 lead after two periods.
Korczak snapped home his 27th of the season with just 8:28 left to play in the third period, extending the Warriors’ lead to two, but Ostapchuk answered back only 1:05 later to make it a one-goal game again.
The Warriors held strong over the final seven minutes and Firkus sealed the win with one second to play, putting the puck into an empty net.
“Anytime it goes to 3-1, that next one is obviously real important… the guys knew that, you could just see that and on the bench tonight, there was a lot of focus, a lot of encouragement and reminding guys to do the right things,” King said.
Jackson Unger made 34 saves in the win, while the Warriors were outshot 38-35 by the ICE.
Moose Jaw finished 2-for-3 on the power play and Winnipeg was 0-for-2.
The Warriors will finish the regular season this weekend with two games, the team travels to Prince Albert on Friday and then hosts Saskatoon on Saturday at the Moose Jaw Events Centre.