Post-Game Interviews with Andy Schneider, Levi Bews and Graham Black (Download)
Well that seemed like it was going to be a sleeper. The Broncos didn’t appear to have any life or energy through the first two periods of the game. Jon Groenheyde’s strong play and a good penalty kill kept them in the game. They were lucky it was only 1-0 Raiders after 40 minutes.
What the heck happened in the third? It was like night and day. The Broncos sprang to life after the goal by Levi Bews and completely took over the period. It seemed like they were well on their way to two points before Anthony Bardaro made good on the only chance the Raiders got in the final few minutes. 10 seconds left? That’s a tough way to give up a point.
The teams may have split the wins in their season series so far, but the Broncos have earned points in all six games compared to only four for the Raiders. With four overtime games between them these two teams have been pretty charitable to one another!
Tonight’s game certainly didn’t have the entertainment value of Saturday or Monday. Either way, the Broncos wrapped up their three consecutive games at home with 5 of a possible 6 points. That’s nothing to sneeze at. They also have points in 4 of their last 5 games.
Now they have to find a way to get it done on the road. Brandon and Moose Jaw are both really tough to beat in their own building… especially the Warriors. Brandon has been on a huge role lately as well. We will see if this improving young roster can find a way to translate their consistent success on home ice to a better finish on the road.
On another positive note, the penalty kill has only allowed one goal in the last three games. After some terrible results in the first half of this month it’s good to see them settling things down.
As noted on the Swift Current Broncos twitter, Levi Bews now has 9 points in 11 games this month. He went pointless in his first 9 games as a Bronco. The former 2nd round bantam draft pick is proving there was a reason Saskatoon picked him when they did. At the price they paid for him… the Broncos have to be thrilled so far.
Graham Black’s goal was his second in three games after going without a goal in the 22 games before that. He also has 5 points in his last 3 games.
Taylor Vause had his eight game point streak snapped tonight. He has been terrific lately. I have to think the complete and consistent season he has had is getting him some attention from Canadian college teams and some professionals as well. Vause has been in the top 20 of WHL scorers all season on a club that has had a harder time putting pucks in the net during the second half. I’m sure he will have a strong finish to his Bronco career.
I also wanted to congratulate local product Tim Vanstone on playing his first WHL game tonight. He had a good showing and even nearly goat a point after winning a draw to set up a chance from a point shot. There is a good chance he makes the Raiders next season. Before it gets to that… Vanstone and the Home Hardware Midget AAA Legionnaires travel to Prince Albert to start their playoffs against the Mintos on Saturday. They’re home on Sunday afternoon. I hope the guys get some strong support for their first home playoff game in eight years.
Vanstone is a good interview for a 15-year-old! I have my talk with him posted in the pre-game blog.
Next up? We’re off to Brandon tomorrow for a game on Friday and then Moose Jaw on Saturday. The Broncos aren’t at home again until March 6th. It’s hard to believe there are only three home games left in the regular season. It will be training camp again before we know it.