Bron­cos earn sin­gle point in dif­fi­cult week­end

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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.

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