Keith Hershmiller

Korczak leads Warriors in rout of Broncos

REGINA – The Night Ryder was back, and he rode all over the Broncos on Friday night.

Ryder Korczak notched two goals and added a helper as the Moose Jaw Warriors (7-7-1) cruised past the Swift Current Broncos (3-11-1) 6-2 at the Brandt Centre.

“We’ve talked about the process a lot,” said Moose Jaw head coach Mark O’Leary post-game, “but the process is only as good as it’s being followed.

“You need wins like this for the belief that the process works, and when you can have successful nights like this you get the guys believing that if they play the right way they will get rewarded. That was the message here tonight, we wanted to get to our game early and we sustained it for the course of the game.”

An excellent start for the Warriors was rewarded at the 10:57-mark of the opening frame when Atley Calvert found Korczak in acres of space in front of Isaac Poulter, and he made no mistake, outwaiting the Swift Current netminder before chipping the puck over his glove hand.

Swift Current opened the second with all sorts of pressure on Moose Jaw goaltender Brett Mirwald, as Josh Filmon’s rocket through a crowd pinged the crossbar two minutes in; though Jagger Firkus responded by putting a backhand off the post behind Coulter after a beautiful individual rush moments later.

Despite all the good chances the Broncos were carving out, it was an innocuous-looking long wrister off the stick of Jordan Borysiuk that finally beat Mirwald at 11:34 to tie the game.

But Mirwald’s relief came fast and furious.

First 21-year-old Riley Krane pounced on a rebound from a Calder Anderson wrist shot from the slot and pounded it past Poulter only 11 seconds later, and then 19-year-old Logan Doust stretched the Moose Jaw lead when he cut in front of a Broncos’ defender off a feed from Riley Niven and ripped a one-timer high glove side at 12:57 to make it 3-1.

“I think it’s important for those veteran guys to be rewarded for playing the right way,” O’Leary added.

“Those are two guys that the offence has not been there since the start of this season, but it has not changed how much we think of their importance to the team. They don’t cheat for one second, they play on the right side of the puck, and they’re reliable guys in all sorts of situations, so it’s nice when guys like that get rewarded for doing the right things, and I’m really happy for them.”

 

Next up it was Korczak again, as the ‘A’-listed NHL draft prospect fired a bomb past Poulter’s blocker from inside the right circle on a Warrior power play that nobody could see until it hit the back of the net with just under four minutes left in the middle stanza; and it felt like Moose Jaw was in complete control.

Korczak returned to the Moose Jaw line-up from an ‘upper-body injury’ in Wednesday afternoon’s defeat to the Winnipeg ICE.

“There are some guys that are gifted with offensive ability and Ryder is one of those guys,” O’Leary said.

“He is a creative guy, he’s not afraid to try different things, and it keeps other teams honest when he has a night like tonight where the puck is following him a little bit. He can make teams pay, so it makes us a better team and he is our best offensive player that is for sure.”

A tight third erupted into fisticuffs when Riley Niven fought Caleb Wyrostok moments after Firkus was levelled on a clean open-ice hit around the Swift Current blueline with 13:18 remaining in regulation.

Indiscipline from the Broncos then led to three straight power plays for Moose Jaw, and the Warriors man advantage put the game to bed as Eric Alarie and Daemon Hunt added markers to pad the scoreline.

Josh Davies added a late consolation on a Swift Current power play.

It was the first game and first win for Jason Ripplinger as the general manager of the club, as he was announced at a press conference Thursday, the details of which can be read here.

“Hopefully it’s one of many for him!” said O’Leary with a smile.

“Really happy for him, it’s the start of something special hopefully here, you never forget your first, so it’s big for (Ripplinger) for sure.”

The Warriors are right back at it Saturday night when they take on the Saskatoon Blades, puck drops at 8:00 p.m.

 

 

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