The Swift Current Broncos fell 5-3 to the Moose Jaw Warriors on Friday night at the InnovationPlex in the first half of a home and home set.

The Broncos got off to a fantastic start early as Mat Ward made his return for a lengthy injury absence. He scored just 41 seconds into the game as the Broncos took a 1-0 lead.

It was a back and forth first period that saw each team earn 15 shots on goal. The Warriors were able to capitalize late in the period as Jagger Firkus notched his first of three goals on the night to tie the game.

The second period was another solid period for the Broncos, outshooting the Warriors 10-7, but couldn’t get one past the Warriors netminder Jackson Unger who went toe to toe with Broncos goalie Reid Dyck who each made their own excellent saves.

Broncos Interim Head Coach Taras McEwen said he liked how they produced offence in the first two periods of the game.

“Liked our pace, our forecheck, getting above trading some turnovers and had some real good chances that we just weren’t able to finish on,” McEwen said. “But how we were able to create and kind of keep them in check, but it definitely takes a 60-minute effort.”

In the third however, the Broncos scored twice early, taking a 3-1 lead thanks to goals from Ward again, and then Conor Geekie before five minutes elapsed in the third, but the Warriors wouldn’t go quietly as Firkus scored two more in the third, and Atley Calvert and Ethan Semeniuk added the others for the Warriors who scored four unanswered to take the 5-3 lead.

The Broncos only got four shots on goal in the third, and seemed to not keep doing the things they did well in the first forty minutes.

“Some of the simple, just one on one battles, especially enough for what we want to be good in that area and take care of that area and didn’t do a good job in that short stretch there,” McEwen said.

The Broncos were unsuccessful on three powerplay opportunities and killed off their lone penalty in the game.