The Moose Jaw Warriors have been great at bouncing back over the first half of the 2021-22 regular season.
The Warriors went into the holiday break on a high note with a 5-3 win over the Regina Pats at Mosaic Place on Saturday.
“As a whole, we’re real happy with our performance here tonight, it was one of those games where everybody just did their job,” Warriors head coach Mark O’Leary said after the game.
Ryder Korczak led the charge with three assists, while Brayden Yager picked up a goal and two points in the win.
Carl Tetachuk turned away 37 shots in goal to help the Warriors to the victory.
Yager said this was a strong bounce back for the Warriors.
“We started a lot better obviously, last game, we didn’t really start very strong, so tonight, we battled hard the whole game and that was the main difference,” he said.
There were chances both ends of the ice throughout the first period, but Moose Jaw broke through first when Thomas Tien finished off a chance in front for his third of the season.
The Warriors got rolling in the second period when Nathan Pilling scored his second goal in as many games, snapping a shot past Pats goalie Matthew Kieper just two minutes into the middle frame.
Just past the midway point of the period, Robert Baco moved the Warriors in front 3-0 when he finished off a nice feed from Eric Alarie.
Yager put the Warriors up by four when he blasted his 14th of the season the back of the net on the power play with 2:35 left in the second.
Regina would get on the board late in the period when Logan Nijhoff jammed in a rebound in front with under two minutes in the frame.
The Pats struck again just 3:20 into the third when Tanner Howe converted on a power play opportunity to cut the Warriors’ lead down to two.
Moose Jaw killed Regina’s momentum when Jagger Firkus scored on the power play a little over five minutes later to make it 5-2.
Parker Berge scored with 59 seconds left in the game to cut the Warriors’ lead back down to two, but that was as close as Regina was able to get.
The Pats outshot the Warriors, 40-32, while Moose Jaw went 2-for-5 on the power play and 1-for-8 on the penalty on the night.
The win puts the Warriors at 14-14-2-1 through the first 31 games of the season, which has them in a tie with Saskatoon for fifth place in the Eastern Conference.
“Job number one was to take a step from last year and we’ve certainly done that, sitting .500 in the conference that we’re with our group right now is really good,” O’Leary said.
The Warriors are now off for the Christmas break, the team will return to practice on Boxing Day and get back to game action on Dec. 28 when the Edmonton Oil Kings come to Mosaic Place.