Sam Fioretti scored his first career Western Hockey League hat trick as the Moose Jaw Warriors beat the Brandon Wheat Kings 6-1 Saturday night.
Fioretti scored twice in the first 8:52 to give the Warriors an early lead.
“Scoring early was a big key to our success tonight,” said Fioretti who now has five goals on the season.
It was the first time the Warriors scored first this season and the first them held a lead in regulation time.
“I don’t think there was a different approach tonight, I just think we executed better than we have on most other nights,” said Fioretti of their strong first period. “We always want to come out flying and get a lot of shots on net, but tonight we did a much better job than we have in other nights.”
After taking the 2-0 lead, the Warriors killed off five straight Brandon power plays before they doubled their lead.
Bryson Gore scored his first WHL goal and Carter Hansen also scored for the Warriors who improved to 2-2 on the season.
Eric Roy replied for the Wheat Kings (4-1) to cut the lead, but Jordan Wyton scored on a breakaway and Fioretti scored his hat trick goal with 18.9 seconds left in the second period.
“In this league you’re going to have to get rebound goals to score on these goalies and we need to get pucks through and keep crashing the net,” said Fioretti.
After scoring seven goals in their first three games, the Warriors’ six-goal performance was a welcome sign.
“I don’t think we were concerned with (the offence), but we wanted more production from it. I thought we did a good job of going to the net and that’s where we get our success,” said Fioretti.
Fioretti finished with with four points and Morgan Rielly chipped in with a pair of assists for the Warriors.
Moose Jaw finished 3-for-4 on the power play, while Brandon was 0-for-6.
Justin Paulic made 18 saves in goal for the Warriors who put in their best defensive performance of the season against a Wheat Kings team that was averaging six goals per game heading into Saturday’s game.
Brandon goalie Corbin Boes stopped 17 of the 23 he faced before being replaced by Curtis Honey at the start of the third period. Honey stopped all 10 shots he faced.
The Warriors are back in action Wednesday when they travel to Regina.