Warriors force a Game 7 against Blades in WHL Eastern Final

Saskatoon Blades defender Charlie Wright fights for the puck against Moose Jaw Warriors forward Martin Rysavy during Game 7 of WHL playoff action at Moose Jaw Events Centre on Sunday, May 5, 2024 in Moose Jaw. KAYLE NEIS / Regina Leader-Post Photo by KAYLE NEIS /Regina Leader-Post.

Darren Zary, Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Yes, Virginia, there will be a Game 7.

The Moose Jaw Warriors made sure of that with a 4-3 overtime victory over the Saskatoon Blades on Sunday in Moose Jaw before 4,582 fans at the Events Centre.

Lynden Lakovic notched the game winner at 2:57 of OT to even the best-of-seven Western Hockey League Eastern Conference final series at three games apiece.

Five of the six games thus far have been decided in overtime.

Game 7 will be played Tuesday night in Saskatoon. Game-time is 7 p.m. at SaskTel Centre.

“We’re heading to a Game 7, so now we just have to turn the page, figure out what we can do better and get ready to put our best effort on the ice,” said Blades head coach Brennan Sonne, whose team finished 14 points ahead of the Warriors during the regular season with a 50-13-2-3 record and a league-leading 105 points.

Egor Sidorov, with his 15th goal of the playoffs, Rowan Calvert and Charlie Wright scored for Saskatoon, which capitalized on its lone power play chance.

Brayden Schuurman tallied twice to lead Moose Jaw, which outshot Saskatoon 35-33. Rilen Kovacevic had the other goal for the Warriors, who led 2-1 after one period.

“That line worked real hard and it’s something we’re going to evaluate and address in video,” said Sonne.

The teams were tied after the second and third periods.

“I think there were times in the game where we played real well, and real hard,” said Sonne. “I think we could have started harder, honestly. Those will be things we will evaluate and address here in video.

“I think there were opportunities to put pucks in better spots for recoveries. I think we can start a little better. The second period, we started doing some really good things and spending some offensive zone time. Those are things that are very important in a long series.”

Jackson Unger stopped 30 of 33 shots for the win.

Evan Gardner made 31 saves in the loss.

Breakaways: CJWW Radio three stars were 1) Schuurman, 2) Sidorov and 3) Kovacevic … The Portland Winterhawks were holding a 3-2 series lead in the WHL Western Conference best-of-seven final going into Game 6 Monday night in Prince George. A Game 7 in that series, if needed, would also be played Tuesday night. That game would take place in Prince George.