Fly­ing Teddy Bears

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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.

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