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Moose Jaw Warriors advance to second WHL Championship in franchise history with overtime win


Lynden Lakovic’s goal just 36 seconds into overtime on Tuesday night helped the Moose Jaw Warriors to a 3-2 win over the Saskatoon Blades in game seven and into the Western Hockey League final.

The Warriors will now face the Portland Winterhawks for the Ed Chynoweth Cup. It’s the first time in 18 years and just the second time in franchise history that the club will make a finals appearance.

Ethan Semeniuk opened scoring for the Warriors in the first period on a deflection in front off a Kalem Parker shot.

The Blades drew even midway through the second period when Easton Armstrong picked up the puck in the high slot and fired a backhand attempt past Warriors’ netminder Jackson Unger.

Seattle Kraken prospect Jagger Firkus broke the deadlock nearly ten minutes into the third period. Brayden Yager stripped a Blades defender of the puck and found a wide-open Firkus in the slot for a one-timer. The Blades battled back to tie the game with under four minutes to play on a goal by Vaughn Watterodt.

Lackovic then ended it 36 seconds into overtime, the sixth time in seven games the two teams needed extra time to decide a winner.

“Just excitement. It’s such a tight group and we’ve said it all along, they just don’t’ want to let each other down. Whether you get scored on early or you give up a lead like a couple of games ago, there’s just nothing that phases this group and we saw that here tonight,” Warriors head coach Mark O’Leary said.

The Warriors team bus received a police escort to the rink upon arriving in Moose Jaw, complete with flashing lights.

Once they arrived, dozens of fans cheered and ushered the team into the arena with captain Denton Mateychuk leading the way.

The Warriors have little time to celebrate and recharge. The WHL Championship begins Friday night in Portland. Moose Jaw Will host Games three four and if necessary five. Portland will host games one two and six and seven if necessary. Top Stories

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