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Three-goal outburst leads to Warriors win in Swift Current in Game 3

Moose Jaw scores three goals in 1:21 midway through first, go on to 5-3 victory over Broncos to take two-games-to-one lead in Eastern Conference semifinal
Denton Mateychuk celebrates after scoring his late second period goal.

MOOSEJAWTODAY.COM -- The Moose Jaw Warriors have regained home ice advantage in the Western Hockey League Eastern Conference semifinal.

The Warriors scored three goals in just over a minute midway through the first period and would go on to a 5-3 victory over the Swift Current Broncos in Swift Current on Tuesday night.

As a result, the Warriors now hold a two-games-to-one lead in the best-of-seven series, with the crucial Game 4 on Wednesday night in Swift Current.

Neither team had much by way of chances in the first five minutes, but as has been the case in each game of the series, Swift Current opened scoring.

Ty Coupland got off a shot from a hard angle that deflected off a Warrior defender in front and found the top corner, giving the Broncos a 1-0 lead 5:33 into the game.

Swift Current took their first penalty of the night with 11:31 gone, and the Warriors would capitalise.

Atley Calvert finished off some great puck movement in the zone, taking a feed to the left faceoff circle  from Jagger Firkus and having his shot deflect off Tyson Galloway and in.

Lynden Lakovic then made it a 2-1 Warrior lead only 19 seconds later, stripping the puck from a Broncos defender behind the net, walking out front and beating Reid Dyck with a shot top shelf.

The Warriors kept coming, and Denton Mateychuk increased the lead to two goals on a delayed penalty when his shot from the point deflected in front and found the back of the net. The goal was Moose Jaw’s third in 1:21 and gave Mateychuk eight points in two games at that point.

Mateychuk nearly had his third point of the period with eight seconds left in the first, but a great diving save by Dyck would keep it a two-goal game.

Swift Current took no time at all to tie things up in the second.

The Warriors got caught hemmed in their zone the first few minutes of the period, leading to Owen Pickering and Brady Birnie scoring at 1:26 and 3:01 to make it a 3-3 game.

The vast majority of the frame was played in the Warriors end, but the Broncos had few grade A chances, and the ones they did have saw Jackson Unger there for the save.

The Warriors did begin to get pressure as the period ran down, though, and Mateychuk would strike again. Jagger Firkus found Moose Jaw’s captain breaking in from the point, and he’d put home a backhand while cutting across the net with 48 seconds remaining in the frame.

The third was a back-and-forth affair most of the frame, but the Broncos began to gain zone time as things progressed, leading to Unger having to make a handful of big saves. That included a stop in close on Conor Geekie and a pad save on Clarke Caswell alone in the slot moments later.

Swift Current would eventually pull Dyck with just over two minutes to play, and after a couple of missed cracks at the open net, the Warriors would finish things off with 40 seconds remaining. Matthew Savoie did the honours, winning a puck battle along the boards and putting a long shot into the open net.

Firkus finished his night with three assists and has now climbed into second in WHL scoring with 13 points, four back of league-leading Mateychuk with 17 in seven games.

Unger finished his night with 25 saves, while Dyck had 29 stops.

Should the Warriors win Game 4 on Wednesday in Swift Current, they can finish off the series in Game 5 on Friday night at the Moose Jaw Events Centre. Standing room only tickets are all that remain for that contest as of Tuesday evening.
Game time is 7 p.m.

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