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Warriors run win streak to three with victory in Red Deer

Calvert scores pair as Moose Jaw takes 5-2 victory over Rebels
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The Moose Jaw Warriors might be on their way to finding the kind of consistency they’ve been looking for all season.
Especially if their overall performance on Friday night in Red Deer is any indication.

Despite a bit of a slow start and one of the shortest defensive letdowns imaginable, the Warriors turned in another solid performance their way to a 5-2 victory in Western Hockey League action

The Warriors improved to 16-10-0-1 with the win and have climbed within a point of the Medicine Hat Tigers for second place in the Eastern Conference, four points back of first-place Saskatoon pending the result of their game in Lethbridge.

Things weren’t perfect in the early going, though, as Red Deer spent the majority of the first two minutes in the Moose Jaw zone. That all changed dramatically when the Rebels took their first of eight minor penalties on the night, and it led to the game’s first goal.

Some good movement in the Red Deer zone led to Denton Mateychuk finding Jagger Firkus for the one-timer on the wing, and the WHL’s leading scorer would make no mistake with his blast on net at 6:08.

The assist extended Mateychuk’s point streak to 20 games, giving him at least a point in every game he’s played since returning from Columbus Blue Jackets camp in early October.

Another Rebels penalty led to Brayden Schuurman making it 2-0 when his shot from the slot eluded Rhett Stoesser 2:30 after Firkus’ goal.

Only 59 seconds later, it was once again a tie game.

Jhett Larson scored at 9:25 when his point shot deflected in and the Rebels made it 2-2 only 12 seconds later when Talon Brigley scored on the rush off the centre ice face-off.

The Rebels had a chance to take the lead when Warriors defenceman Kalem Parker was judged to have closed his hand on the puck in the crease, but Kai Uchaz would put his penalty shot wide blocker side.

Things were largely uneventful through the first half of the second period, but at almost exactly the midway point, the Warriors regained the lead.

Brayden Yager took a drop pass from Pavel McKenzie and wired home a shot from between the circles to make it 3-2 with 9:27 gone. Connor Schmidt picked up the second assist for his first WHL helper.

The Warriors had chances to extend the lead early in the third period when Red Deer ran into back-to-back penalties, but a handful of big saves by Stoesser would keep it a one-goal game.

There was little Stoesser could do on the Warriors’ fourth goal.

Lynden Lakovic stole the puck off a Red Deer defender and broke into the Red Deer zone before sending a perfect pass to the front of the net for Atley Calvert, who jammed the puck home for the 4-2 lead at 8:43.

The goal was Calvert’s second point of the game and gives him ponts in seven straight as well as 13 of his last 14 games.

The Moose Jaw Minor Hockey product wasn’t done there, either, as he’d pick up his second of the game with 4:59 to play to make it a three-goal edge. Yager played set-up man, with his long pass across the zone finding Calvert just above the goal line, and the Warriors overager would put a shot just under the crossbar.

That would close out scoring on the night, with Jackson Unger stopping 31 shots for his league-leading 14th win of the season. The Warriors had 35 shots on Stoesser.

The Warriors are back in action on Sunday afternoon when they make the trip to Edmonton to face the Oil Kings. Game time is 5 p.m. Moose Jaw time.

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