Warriors battle back

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:47 AM ET

MOOSE JAW -- The roof at the Crushed Can always looks as if it's about ready to cave in.

It came crashing down on the Calgary Hitmen last night.

The Warriors scored three times over a 3:53 span late in the third period as Moose Jaw beat Calgary 4-2 and grabbed a 2-1 lead in the WHL's Eastern Conference semifinal.

Game 4 goes tonight at the Civic Centre (7 p.m., SHAW TV).

Hitmen head coach Kelly Kisio felt his squad was in control when things inexplicably fell apart.

"I thought we should have won the hockey game," Kisio said.

"A couple of breaks went against us but I thought we played a real good road game, for the most part."

Playing without the services of WHL scoring king Troy Brouwer (injured knee), the Warriors got goals from Calgary Flames draft pick Dustin Boyd, Kenndal McArdle and Riley Holzapfel, with his second of the night, to grab the series lead.

Steve Covington and Ryan White scored in the third for Calgary to give the visitors a 2-1 lead. And they could have had more.

Derek LeBlanc had a clearcut breakaway and appeared to have Joey Perricone out to lunch but the Moose Jaw 'tender laid the paddle of his stick down to take away a sure goal.

The Warriors scored the first of their three late goals less than a minute later.

After Boyd squared the affair at two apiece, McArdle got the winner on another soft goal, which has plagued Hitmen goaltender Justin Pogge in the playoffs.

The Florida Panthers prospect sent a soft wrister that was going to go over the net. Pogge tried to glove it down but had it bounce off his catcher and into the cage.

Moose Jaw had a 1-0 lead after 40 minutes, Including the regular season, the Warriors hadn't been beaten in regulation time in 34 games (4-0 in the playoffs) when leading after two periods.

But Calgary put that streak to the test with a pair of goals in the first 10 minutes of the third period when Covington and White redirected goalmouth feeds past Perricone.

The Hitmen, who are usually adept at protecting leads, were visibly shocked after the Warriors' eruption.

Covington said it was a learning experience, although it came at an inopportune time.

"We were up 2-1 and I think we were feeling pretty comfortable," the winger said. "They got one and just seemed to keep coming.

"That has happened to us too many times this year. It happened tonight but I think we can learn from it. We have to chip pucks in and out and play our game like we did (early) in the third period."

HIT PARADE: The three stars were Warriors C Blair Jones, Warriors C Riley Holzapfel and Warriors RW Bjorn Svensson ... Not dressed for Calgary were D Dylan Yeo (wrist, 7 weeks), LW Kris Deines (thumb, indefinite) and D Curtis Kelner.


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