Broncos earn single point over three games
The Swift Current Broncos faced their toughest weekend of the season and were only able to secure one point while playing three games in as many days.
Friday, the Broncos’ twogame winning streak came to an end against the top ranked team in the Canadian Hockey League.
Noah Gregor, Sean Montgomery, and Kody Mcdonald each scored twice as the host Prince Albert Raiders defeated the Broncos 6-2. Gregor added three assists in a five-point outing.
Tanner Nagel and Erik Houk replied for the Broncos.
Joel Hofer made 37 saves in the loss. Donavan Buskey made 16 saves on 18 shots to improve to 3-0-0-0.
The Broncos finished onefor-seven on the power play, while the Raiders scored on their only man-advantage as they earned their 10th consecutive win.
Saturday, the Broncos were shutout 2-0 by the host Regina Pats.
The Pats took the lead late in the opening period when Jake Leschyshyn notched his 13th goal of the season. Scott Mahovlich scored 2:03 into the second period to double the lead.
Rookie Isaac Poulter made 22 saves on 24 shots to fall to 1–5-0-0 for the Broncos.
Max Paddock made 20 saves in his first WHL shutout to improve to 4-10-0-0.
Sunday, playing their third game in as many days, the Broncos earned a single point in a 3-2 overtime loss to the visiting Red Deer Rebels, the ninth ranked team in the CHL.
Rookie Ben King scored the only goal of the first period when he one-timed a shot home 7:06 into regulation.
The two teams combined for three goals in the second period. Patterson doubled the lead with his fifth goal of the season as he walked out from the corner and slid a puck home.
The Rebels cut the lead in half 47 seconds later when Zak Smith scored and then tied the game with 36 seconds remaining in the period when Josh Tarzwell fired a perfect shot into the top corner.
The two teams played a scoreless third period as the Broncos played their fourth straight overtime contest at home. Reese Johnson knocked home his own rebound one minute into the three-on-three overtime period.
Hofer took the loss with 44 saves to improve to 2-11-1-1. Byron Fancy earned the win with 15 saves to improve to 3-1-1-0.
Swift Current improved to 3-16-1-1, while Red Deer moved to 13-5-1-0.
“All weekend we were just kind of sitting back and waiting for things to happen instead of going after it and getting it,” said Head Coach Dean Brockman. “Today was a prime example, the minute we were aggressive we had opportunities, when we weren’t we just gave them all the room in the world.”
The coaching staff hopes to play a more aggressive brand of hockey as the season progresses.
“I think it’s just moving our feet and that mentality that we want to be aggressive. We do, we want to turn pucks over, we want to finish checks, we want to do all the right things, and yet we’re cautious. Maybe that’s a little bit of experience and a little bit of not wanting to lose instead of playing to win,” explained Brockman.
The Broncos have been integrating new players into the line-up throughout the first 21 games of the season, including newly signed forward Ian Briscoe, who played his first three games with the Broncos.
“I think they all get along really well and that seems to be good. For us, just like the guys in the room, we expect more out of each individual every day. I don’t know if we took steps forwards or backwards this weekend,” said Brockman.
The Broncos have only one game over a nine-day stretch when they host the Medicine Hat Tigers on Saturday, the first meeting between the two teams this season.
In the midst of a five-game home stand, the Broncos had earned at least a point in four straight home games.
“Certainly we’ve been a lot better at home than on the road. We’ve just got to have that mentality where we’re tough to play against. Today I didn’t think we were tough to play against at all,” lamented Brockman.
Swift Current Broncos Matthew Culling (#16) and Andrew Fyten (centre) were both involved in a scramble for the puck in front of Red Deer Rebels’ goaltender Byron Fancy during a 3-2 overtime loss on Sunday.