Flying Teddy Bears
Bronco fans showed their generosity at the annual Teddy Bear Toss
DillonWagner’s goal only 1:28 into the game queued the annual Kurts KFC Teddy Bear Toss where over 700 stuffed animals were thrown onto the ice during a 5-2 loss to the Prince Albert Raiders on Saturday. Another $1160 was raised through kettles, the sale of tennis balls, and a
second period promotion where young hockey players collected money in the stands.
The Swift Current Broncos are hoping that theywill be able to leave their road woes at the Canadian-American border as they depart on a five-game road trip through theWesternHockey League’sU.S. Division beginning Saturday in Spokane and Sunday in Tri-City.
The Broncos are the WHL’s second worst road team with a 2-12-0-2 record having defeated only the Kootenay Ice and the Moose JawWarriors away from the CreditUnion iplex where they boasted a 14-4 record heading into Tuesday’s game against the Kelowna Rockets.
“I think our mentality has been a lot different on the road than it has been at home. On the road it just hasn’t been the rightmentality,” explained veteran forward Taylor Vause who helped the Broncos to a 4-1 record against the B.C. Division last season at this time of year.
“It is still in the back of our head that we are struggling on the road. I guess everyone else kind of knows that too, it is not something that everyone else in the league doesn’t know. We just need to go out and surprise the other teams in the States there and give them a run for their money on the road,” he continued.
The Broncos will head to Everett on Wednesday, Portland next Friday, and conclude their trip Saturday in Seattle.
“They are pretty good teams out there and they have their fans behind them,” explained Stepan Novotny who is very familiar with the U.S. Division after being acquired from the Kelowna Rockets last month.“Most of those barns are pretty big and they obviously get a lot of energy off of that. We are going to make sure that we are ready, especially at the starts of games because they will be ready to go.”
Newly acquired goaltenderMark Friesen is also familiar with Broncos’ upcoming opponents having recently been acquired from the Chilliwack Bruins.
“Those are all good, hard-working teams out there. I don’t think we have to change our game plan too much from what we are doing out here, just go out there and work as hard as we can. We are just going to have to show up every night because if we don’t those teams are going to take advantage of us.”
The Broncos, who have recently acquired three new players as well as benefited from the return of Matt Tassone from injury, are looking forward to a chance to get to know one another.
“I think it is going to be great for us. We have some new guys so it is going to be fun to get to know them better. It is a long road trip and you end up being with the guys a lot so I think that it is going to be a lot of fun,” said Novotny.