SWIFT CURRENT -- It doesn't matter how you start, it's about how you finish.

Some choice words from a Swift Current Broncos' player was enough to spark the Moose Jaw Warriors on to a season-saving comeback and eventually a 3-2 win in triple overtime on Saturday night.

The Warriors trailed 2-0 early in the third period, but scored twice to tie the game before Jayden Halbgewachs played the hero in the third overtime, beating Broncos goalie Stuart Skinner for a power play goal.

"In the third period, one of their players skated by our bench and said something to our whole bench and that fired our guys up, they were really unhappy with what this guy said, that's when the team really started to go and they went after them," said Warriors head coach Tim Hunter after the win.

The win forces a deciding Game 7 in the best-of-seven series back at Mosaic Place on Monday.

The only reason the Warriors had a chance to mount the comeback in Game 6 was goaltender Brody Willms. Moose Jaw was being outshot 28-9 heading into the third period, but Willms held them in it with a number of big. He continued to do that into overtime, finishing with 58 saves on the night.

"I was just seeing the puck really well tonight and our defencemen were doing a great job and Halbgewachs was able to put one in there finally, so it was a big relief and we're looking forward to Game 7," said Willms.

Willms was pulled in the opening game of the playoffs, but he steadily improved each time he's stepped on the ice throughout the post-season, leading to a season-saving performance on Saturday.

"He was unreal, he stood on his head and in the end, he gave us the win, he was phenomenal tonight and that's what we need from him moving forward," said Halbgewachs.

Halbgewachs had been held off the score sheet since Game 1 of the series, but he came up huge when the Warriors needed him.

After drawing a penalty in the opening minute of the third overtime period, Halbgewachs made it count just 30 seconds later when he rifled a shot past Skinner to send the series to Game 7.

The 20-year-old San Jose Sharks prospect said it was the biggest goal of his career, "It feels unreal, our season is over if that goal doesn't happen, it's pretty indescribable and it feels awesome," he said.

"We've got a special team this year and to have our season done already is just not what we want and doesn't feel right, so to keep our season rolling with that goal is huge."

The night didn't start great for the Warriors and they struggled to get anything going over the first two periods. The Broncos outshot the Warriors, 12-4, in the first period, but neither team could find the back of the net in the scoreless opening frame.

Matteo Gennaro opened the scoring for Swift Current on a power play goal with under seven minutes to play in the second period. It was the fifth straight game in which the Broncos opened the scoring in the series.

Swift Current really took control of the game 3:35 into the third period when Broncos captain Glenn Gawdin forced a turnover and fed Tyler Steenbergen where he snapped in his ninth of the playoffs to give the Broncos a commanding 2-0 lead.

The Warriors found their legs as the third wore on and just over three minutes later a point shot from defenceman Jett Woo found its way past Skinner to get Moose Jaw on the board.

They got some momentum from that goal and then just past the midway point of the period, captain Brett Howden tipped a shot from the point into the net. The goal was originally called off as the back of the net was lifted up, but it was overturned and the Warriors tied the game.

Neither team could find the go-ahead goal to end regulation, which meant they were off to overtime for the third time in the past four games. 

Swift Current outshot Moose Jaw 16-7 in the first overtime with the Warriors killing off a penalty midway through the period.

The Warriors seemed to get stronger the deeper that the game went and eventually got their break in the opening minute of the third overtime.

"I asked the team to play their best game tonight and I meant in the first game not the second game," said Hunter. "We were resilient, we didn't quit and we got a couple of breaks, found some pucks past Skinner and Halbgewachs came up big, it hards to keep your best players off the scoreboard for long and it's a big goal for him."

The two teams will both play their second Game 7 of the playoffs coming up on Monday night at Mosaic Place. Tickets go on sale on Sunday morning at 10 a.m. at mjwarriors.ca.

More Sports News

Strong Results for Rotary Track Club in Saskatoon

The Moose Jaw Rotary Track Club had a fantastic showing at the Kinsmen Indoor Games in Saskatoon this past weekend. The local club won 17 medals, including five gold, and had runners set a number of…

Season of Growth on Track for MJ's Branning

A great athlete always wants more and that's where Jonah Branning is at coming out of his first season with the Regina Cougars track team. The Moose Jaw product won three medals at the Canada West…

Successful Tuesday for Locals in SJHL Playoffs

Moose Jaw's Branden Klatt had an assist as he helped the Yorkton Terriers to a 3-2 win over the Nipawin Hawks in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League Playoffs on Tuesday night. Jaxsen Wiebe and…

February’s Top High School Athletes Honoured

The Moose Jaw High School Athletic Association recently handed out its Athlete of the Month awards for February. Wrestler Ethan La Rose and curler Jake Philipchuk from Peacock Collegiate took home…

Riders Sign 2018 First Round Pick

Dakota Shepley has finally signed with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Saskatchewan's 2018 first-round pick signed a two-year contract with an option for 2021 on Tuesday. Shepley was selected with the…

Record-Setting Discipline Key to Warriors' Success

Tim Hunter had the eighth-most penalty minutes in NHL history, but the Moose Jaw Warriors haven't played to that same style during his tenure as head coach of the Western Hockey League team. Over the…

MJ’s Gardner Signs with NHL’s Stars

Moose Jaw's Rhett Gardner has signed a two-year entry-level contract with the Dallas Stars. Gardner was originally selected by the Stars in the fourth round, 116th overall, in the 2016 NHL Draft. The…

MJ Teams Open Hockey Regina Playoffs with Wins Monday

The Moose Jaw Peewee A Warriors opened Hockey Regina's league playoffs with a 7-4 win over the Regina Falcons in the Queen City on Monday. Cole King led the Warriors with a hat trick and four points…

Evanoff Named WHL Goalie of the Week

Adam Evanoff is heading into the post-season playing some of his best hockey of the season. The Moose Jaw Warriors netminder was named WHL Goaltender of the Week on Monday after winning both of his…

Ackerman Bows Out in 'C' Final; Arguin Falls in Masters Final

Moose Jaw's Skylar Ackerman came up just short of a repeat at the Saskatchewan Under-18 Women's Curling Championship over the weekend in Regina. Team Ackerman lost 6-2 to Weyburn’s Emily Haupstein in…

DiscoverMooseJaw.com is Moose Jaw's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide

Login