The Moose Jaw Warriors didn’t get off to the best of starts against the Regina Pats in Regina on Friday night, but when they got going, hoo boy.
The Warriors fell behind midway through the first period but would score six straight goals over the next 20 minutes and go on to a 9-5 victory in Western Hockey League action from the Brandt Centre.
Moose Jaw improved to 39-22-0-3 and potentially moved nine points clear of Lethbridge for fourth place in the Eastern Conference pending the result of their contest against Calgary.
Regina opened scoring at 8:01 of the opening period, with Connor Bedard taking a slick backhand from Tanner Howe into the slot and rifling a shot home.
And that would be the last bit of good news for the Pats for a good long while.
The Warriors took the first penalty of the game with 8:50 to play in the period, but they’d be the ones to hit the scoresheet. Josh Hoekstra made it look easy, going in on a two-on-one with Robert Baco, taking a flip pass and putting a shot top shelf blocker side on Drew Sim.
Three minutes later, it was 2-1 Warriors, and this one was all Ryder Korczak. The Warriors’ overager broke into the Regina zone and put a shot off the glass, but the puck landed at the side of the net and Korczak would beat a defender to bat the puck home.
Jagger Firkus then extended the lead to two goals with 3:56 to play in the period, forcing a turnover in the neutral zone and going in on a breakaway before beating Sim with a backhand.
Firkus picked up his second of the game 1:39 into the second period, and it was a head-up play by Brayden Yager that set things up. Yager picked off a Stanislav Svozil pass in the neutral zone and sent it over the Firkus, who finished off the ensuing two-on-none with a shot low glove side.
The hits kept coming, as yet another breakaway led to the Warriors fifth goal 6:10 into the frame. Martin Rysavy made it a 5-1 lead by muscling a Pats defender off the puck, going in alone on Sim and putting home his own rebound.
Atley Calvert continued the onslaught with 12:20 gone in the second, taking a perfect pass from Firkus through tons of traffic in front and jamming a shot.
Bedard scored goals 3:32 apart to get Regina within three late in the period, but Eric Alarie made it a 7-3 game only 19 seconds after Bedard’s hat trick at 17:26.
Riley Ginnell got one back for Regina with 7:15 gone in the final period but Logan Dowhaniuk would once again make it a four-goal game with a blast from the point with 5:28 to play.
Alexander Suzdalev pulled the Pats back inside of three with 3:01 on the clock and that would close out scoring on their end, but Firkus wasn’t done yet -- and the Seattle Kraken prospect finished off his hat trick with 20 seconds remaining.
Firkus capped his night with four points and now has 12 points in his last six games, while Korczak and Calvert had three-point nights to go along with three assists from Yager. Denton Mateychuk added two assists and now has seven points in his last three games.
The Warriors are back in action on Saturday night for what promises to be a wild one -- the contest has been completely sold out for a week, with over 4,500 tickets sold, in what’s expected to be Bedard's final visit to the Moose Jaw Events Centre.
Game time is 7 p.m.