Broncos earn single point in difficult weekend
The Swift Current Broncos earned a single point during a difficult two-game weekend that began in Brandon and concluded in Swift Current on Hockey Day in Canada.
Friday, the Broncos fought their way back from a two-goal deficit to earn a single point in Brandon.
The Broncos failed to score in the shootout but still earned a road point in the 3-2 shootout loss, despite a 53-save effort from Riley Lamb.
The Wheat Kings took the lead on goals from Baron Thompson and Braden Schneider. The Broncos got goals late in the second and third periods from Joona Kiviniemi and Ethan O’rourke to force overtime. Ben Mccarthy scored the only goal of the shootout as all three Broncos were turned aside by Kruger.
Saturday, the Broncos came up short against the visiting Saskatoon Blades in a 4-1 loss during Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada. The Broncos gave the Blades a good battle for nearly 49 minutes before allowing three unanswered goals over the final 11:26.
“We came together and had a good bounce back from last night,” said veteran forward Ethan O’rourke. “We battled hard to finish off the game in Brandon. I think the score doesn’t reflect how really well we did play tonight. We got some unlucky bounces. We gave it a good push, but we just didn’t get the result.”
The Blades outshot the Broncos 12-6 during a scoreless opening period.
Gary Haden continued his hot play against the Broncos when he opened the scoring 9:29 into the second period with a rebound goal. The Broncos needed only 43 seconds to tie the game when Tyler Lees knocked a puck into an open net for his first goal as a Bronco.
The Blades took a second lead midway through the third period when Riley Mckay tucked a wraparound in for his ninth goal of the season. Max Gerlach scored a breakaway goal with 2:14 left and Cyle Mcnabb scored into an empty net in the final seconds.
Rookie Isaac Poulter took the loss with 34 saves to fall to 2-14-0-0. Nolan Maier earned the win with 24 saves.
The game was played in front of a sold out crowd as a part of the Hockey Day in Canada festivities.
“It’s tonnes of fun. The last time I was in here I was losing in the final to Swift as a Silvertip,” said O’rourke, who was acquired from the Everett Silvertips in the offseason after the two teams met in the WHL championship series last season. “It was fun to see that atmosphere and kind of get back in the groove of it again. I’m sure it was a great time. I wish we were here to see a bit more of it.”
The Broncos fell to 10-38-2-2, while Saskatoon improved to 33-13-8-0.
O’rourke, 19, is one of the most veteran players on a young Broncos roster that has been in a state of flux all season.
“We’ve come a long ways. That gel is starting to happen where everybody is starting to mesh. I guess you think about it and it wasn’t just at the deadline, it’s been all year. We haven’t had a chance to settle in at any point in the season. So now that we’ve got the team we’re hoping the meshing keeps going on and we can finish off with a couple good wins to finish the season.”
The 6’5’’ Penticton native had seven goals in his past 11 games.
“For me it’s just been trying to get to the right areas. That’s kind of getting to the front of the net and banging in loose pucks and finding those soft areas in the game. I’m starting to find my stride a little bit. I’m glad that’s starting to be seen a little bit for me and it’s starting to happen.”
The Broncos are back at home on Friday to host the Lethbridge Hurricanes. They also visit the Brandon Wheat
Kings on Monday.