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Last-minute goal gives Warriors win over Rockets in Kelowna

Firkus scores power play marker with 15 seconds to play to cap four-point night as Moose Jaw takes 4-3 victory
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The Moose Jaw Warriors needed almost every second of the game to get the job done, but get the job done they did on Saturday night in Kelowna.

Jagger Firkus scored his second goal of the game with 18 seconds to play and the Warriors would go on to a 4-3 victory over the Rockets in the third game of their B.C. Division road trip.

The win sees Moose Jaw improve to 15-9-0-0 on the season, keeping pace with Saskatoon and remaining two points back of the Blades for fourth place in the Eastern Conference.

The Rockets opened scoring 5:42 into the game when a turnover in the middle of the Warriors zone gave Wil Munro a lane to the Warriors net, and he’d beat Jackson Unger for his first WHL goal.

Unger had to be sharp in the early going, too, making a handful of big saves shortly after the opening marker to keep it a one-goal game.

Kelowna had a great chance to extend their lead when Atley Calvert and Lynden Lakovic took penalties on the same play midway through the period, giving the Rockets a 5-on-3 for a full two minutes. The Warriors were able to get the job done, though, limiting Kelowna to only a couple of scoring chances in the process.

Two minutes later, Jagger Firkus tied the game 1-1. The Seattle Kraken prospect carried the puck into the Rockets’ zone, used a defenceman as a partial screen and ripped a perfect shot top corner blocker side on goaltender Jari Kykkanen.

The goal extended Firkus’ ongoing point streak to 16 games, the second longest ongoing run in the WHL.

It didn’t take long for the Warriors to take the lead in the second period.

Brayden Yager scored only 57 seconds in, when a shot in close by Atley Calvert rebounded out to Firkus, who found Yager with a cross-ice pass. A quick shot later and the Warriors had a 2-1 lead.

The Warriors had their own two-man advantage shortly after, and Yager struck again just as the first penalty expired. Firkus picked the puck out of a scrum, found Yager open in the slot and he’d put a shot past a scrambling Kykkanen.

The Rockets responded at 10:54 of the third, with Kelowna leading scorer Andrew Cristall scoring on a 4-on-3 power play.

Colton Dach then tied the game for the Rockets with 4:50 to play, forcing a turnover at the Warriors blueline and going in on the wing before putting a shot low glove side on Unger.

A charging penalty to Kelowna’s Max Graham with 1:23 to go gave the Warriors a chance to take the lead, and Calvert had a pair of chances to score the game winner -- including a hit post from the top of the crease with 32 seconds remaining -- but in the end, it wouldn’t matter.

Fifteen seconds later, Firkus scored the Warriors third power play goal of the game, taking a brilliant cross-ice pass from Yager for his second goal and fourth point of the contest. Firkus now has 13 goals and 30 points in 22 games and in one night moved from 26th to 13th overall in WHL scoring.

Unger finished his night with 25 saves to pick up the win, Kykkanen had 26 stops for the Rockets.

The seven-games-in-14-days road trip continues with game four on Tuesday night when the Warriors are in Victoria to face the 3-17-3-0 Royals. Game time is 9 p.m. Moose Jaw time.

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