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Moose Jaw Warriors sweep Portland, capture first WHL championship in franchise history

History was made at the Moose Jaw Event Centre on Wednesday night as 40 years of waiting finally came to an end for the Moose Jaw Warriors.

In front of a sold out arena, captain Denton Mateychuk lifted the Ed Chynoweth Cup over his head celebrating the Warriors’ first Western Hockey League championship in franchise history with a 4-2 victory in Game 4 of the WHL Final over the Portland Winterhawks.

Tuesday’s Game 3 overtime hero, Brayden Schuurman scored the dagger for Moose Jaw with 5:53 remaining in regulation to break a 2-2 deadlock in the third period before teammate Martin Rysavy hit the empty net for his second goal of the night to seal the victory.

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“It was our goal from day one,” said alternate captain and Moose Jaw native Atley Calvert. “I knew it was going to be a special year, we had a special group and we’re going to be brothers forever.”

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Click to play video: 'GNM: Moose Jaw Warriors James Gallo'

GNM: Moose Jaw Warriors James Gallo

Winning the series 4-0 and completing the sweep over the Winterhawks, Moose Jaw erases the pain of their lone appearance in the WHL Championship in 2006 when they were swept in four games by the Vancouver Giants.

“This is unbelievable,” said Warriors head coach Mark O’Leary on the ice after the final buzzer sounded. “I just love this group, everything they’re about, even when I’m mad at them I love them. To have the opportunity to do this at home is just so special.”

The Warriors will now head to Saginaw, Michigan next week to represent the WHL at the 2024 Memorial Cup where they will face the host Saginaw Spirit, the OHL-champion London Knights and the Drummondville Voltigeurs out of the QMJHL.

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