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Brilliant first period leads to Warriors win in Prince Albert

Alarie puts up four-point first period as Warriors go on to 4-1 victory over Raiders
warriors logo sweater
(file photo)
The Moose Jaw Warriors looked like they were going to turn it into an easy night with how things went in the first period on Wednesday in Prince Albert.

Any time you take a 4-0 lead out of the opening frame, that’s a solid expectation.

But things never seem to come truly easy for this edition of the Warriors, and they’d need a stellar performance from starter Carl Tetachuk to take a 4-1 victory in Western Hockey League action.

Early on, though?

Eric Alarie had four points and Atley Calvert three assists as the Warriors put together their huge lead through the opening 20 minutes.

The Warriors’ first goal was the product of a timely line change and a solid forecheck by Calvert, who came off the bench, held the puck in along the boards at the Raiders blueline, forced the turnover and broke in on Carter Serhyenko. The Prince Albert starter made the first save, but the rebound went right to Alarie, and he made no mistake, rifling a shot home with 1:15 gone in the period.

Alarie and Calvert then figured into the Warriors’ second goal. Alarie pulled the puck out of a scrum in the near corner, found Calvert alone in the slot, and the Moose Jaw Minor Hockey product sipped a nifty pass over to a pinching Daemon Hunt. A quick shot later, and it was 2-0 Warriors only 7:36 in.

Alarie picked up his third point of the period seven minutes later, hitting Matthew Gallant with a pass back to the blueline that would turn into a goal for Logan Doust when Doust outraced a Raiders defender on the shot and poked the puck home.

The onslaught continued with 2:34 to play in the period, and it resulted in a Warriors milestone -- Max Wanner pinched in from the point on the power play and scored on a Calvert rebound in close for his first WHL goal.

Prince Albert had a bit of pushback in the second period, but the Warriors still carried the majority of the play. That included a long stretch where the Raiders were hemmed in their own zone by the fourth line of Thomas Tien, Robert Baco and Tate Schofer as the hard-working crew generated chance after chance but couldn’t score.

Things took a hard turn in the third, though, as after killing off a string of penalties midway through the period, the Raiders went all in on an attempted comeback, generating a host of chances -- especially as the Warriors took three minors in the final 11 minutes.

Tetachuk was up to the task, though, turning aside 23 shots in the period and 50 on the night to secure the victory.

Prince Albert’s only goal came with 7:39 to play, as Tyson Laventure scored on the power play after a shot off the post went straight to the Raiders forward and left him with a wide-open cage.

The Warriors finished with 13 shots on Serhyenko and 21 on replacement Tikhon Chaika, who played the final 42:34 of the game.

The Moose Jaw penalty kill had a solid night, holding Prince Albert to a single goal on six opportunities. The Raiders were 1-for-7.

The Warriors are back in action Friday when they travel to Swift Current for the first half of a home-and-home set with the Broncos. The rematch goes Saturday at 7 p.m. at Mosaic Place.