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 Moose Jaw Warriors

Warriors Dominate Pats in Regular Season Finale Saturday

March 24, 2024 - Western Hockey League (WHL)
Moose Jaw Warriors News Release

Moose Jaw, SK - The Moose Jaw Warriors went into Saturday's regular season finale focused on building momentum heading into the playoffs and they did just that in dominating fashion.

The Warriors cruised to an 11-1 over the rival Regina Pats to close out the 2023-24 regular season in front of over 4,700 people at the Moose Jaw Events Centre.

"[Head Coach Mark O'Leary] said in the room that he wanted to see how we would be in game one of the playoffs, so treat it like that tonight and we did a really good job of that," Warriors forward Jagger Firkus said.

"We did a good job of keeping our emotions together and we're just happy that we came out with that win."

Coming off a loss in Brandon on Thursday, the Warriors wanted to bounce back in the final game of the regular season.

Assistant coach Curtis Pereverzoff said he's pleased with how the team handled the game.

"It was about keeping our emotions in check and playing within our game plan and at the end of the day, we have something to play for here next week and we wanted to close out the season at home in front of our fans with a good performance," he said.

Firkus was another focus for the team going into the game as he entered tied with Prince George Cougars forward Zac Funk for the Western Hockey League scoring lead.

The Seattle Kraken prospect pulled away to capture the Bob Clarke Trophy as the top scorer in the WHL this season, finishing with a hat trick and five points on the night to give him 61 goals and 126 points this season.

"It means a lot to me, it was something that I wanted at the start of the year and now that I got it, I'm happy, but there's a bigger goal in the room that we want, so hopefully we can get that going on Friday," Firkus said.

Pereverzoff said it was well deserved for Firkus to earn the honour as the top scorer in the Canadian Hockey League this season.

"It's a huge honour and those players were going toe-to-toe throughout the whole season, so for it to come down to the Game 68 for both teams and see Firk have a nice performance like that, super happy for him," he said.

It was a headlining night for the Warriors as a group as they hit double digits for the second time in the last month.

Martin Rysavy had a hat trick, while Brayden Yager finished with six assists as the Warriors' top line posted six goals and 14 points combined.

Matthew Savoie had a goal and four points as he hit the 30-goal plateau for the third straight season, while Atley Calvert and Aiden Ziprick had a goal and two points each.

The Warriors had the pedal down right from the opening puck and Rysavy opened the scoring just 5:48 into the game with his 23rd of the season on the power play.

Ziprick followed that up with his first WHL goal just over two minutes later and then late in the first, Savoie potted his 30th to make it 3-0 for the Warriors after one.

Moose Jaw started the second period on a five-on-three and came out firing.

Firkus got on the board with his 59th of the season just seven seconds in and then with 43 seconds gone in the period, Calvert put home his 47th to make it 5-0.

Less than three minutes later, Rysavy scored his second of the night, and 24th of the season, to extend the Warriors' lead to six goals.

Regina got one back when Braxton Whitehead broke in and scored just before the midway point of the period.

The Warriors went back up by six when Firkus scored on a lacrosse goal for his 60th of the season, making it 7-1 after two.

Firkus struck again in the first minute of the third, scoring his 61st of the season only 50 seconds into the period.

With 7:02 gone in third, Vojtech Port blasted home his fourth of the season, and first as a Warrior, to make it 9-1.

Rysavy's hat trick goal with 3:21 to go pushed the Warriors into double digits and Pavel McKenzie finished the onslaught with his 15th of the season with 2:13 to play.

The Warriors finished the night 5-for-9 on the power play, while not giving the Pats a chance to work with the man advantage.

Moose Jaw outshot Regina, 49-22, in the game.

The Warriors will now prepare to open the 2024 WHL Playoffs starting on Friday when the Brandon Wheat Kings come to the Hangar. Single game tickets go on sale on Monday at noon.

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