Post Game: Rockets 6 Broncos 5

Reece Scarlett left Wednesday's game injured (Photo by Darwin Knelsen)

Reece Scarlett left Wednesday’s game injured (Photo by Darwin Knelsen)

*Click the Swift Current Online article link for audio with Jamie Heward. For some reason I can’t get it to load on the blog*

Highlights of The New Pioneer Co-op Broncos Hockey (Download)

Pre-Game with Broncos F Glenn Gawdin (Download)

Pre-Game with Broncos Coach/GM Mark Lamb (Download)

Pre-Game with Rockets Broadcaster Regan Bartel (Download)

The Q with Rockets F Colton Heffley (Download)

  • B&A Petroleum Game Shifter: Kelowna’s 2nd goal
  • Low Cost Towing Unsung Hero: Zac Mackay
  • Standard Motors Crunch of the Game: Denis Bosc
  • Herbert Auto Tough Guy of the Game: Tanner LeSann

Here is my recap from Swift Current Online:

It’s a bad case of deja-vu for the Swift Current Broncos.

The battered and bruised Broncos suffered another painful loss on Wednesday night in Kelowna. Up 3-1 late in the second period they ended up losing 6-5 to the high-powered Rockets.

It was another in a series of close losses to top teams and their 13th loss in 18 one-goal games so far this season.

“We are playing well, working hard, doing the things that we want to do and we’re just finding little ways at the wrong times to make crucial mistakes and give other teams momentum,” said Broncos Assistant Coach Jamie Heward. “We kind of shoot ourselves in the foot.”

The Broncos were down to 11 forwards due to injuries and illness. They then lost star defenceman Reece Scarlett midway through the third period.

“It’s tough when you have a depleted roster and you’re calling on other guys to play minutes,” Heward said. “They’ve got to find a way to get it done. I know every kid wants to play well this is their time to come out, get more ice time, get a chance to play those minutes… right now we’re close, but we’re just not finding that extra little bit at crucial times.”

Swift Current was missing Brent Benson, Levi Bews, Josh Derko, Landon Bow and Chance Lund from their usual lineup. They were down to 10 regular forwards and 15-year-old call up Glenn Gawdin before also losing Scarlett on D, but Heward didn’t blame their third period issues on depth guys being forced to play bigger roles.

“I’m not going to let the guys off the hook that easy,” Heward said. “I’ve been impressed with the lot of our younger guys… they’ve probably been our best players with the exception of Adam Lowry. I’ve been really impressed with Zac Mackay in the last two games… You want to see those guys when they get an opportunity they take advantage of it.”

“Now obviously we’re going to be disappointed with some of the veteran guys who aren’t taking advantage of the additional ice time and the situations they were in.”

The game started well for the Broncos as Adam Lowry re-directed a Coda Gordon pass under Kelowna goaltender Jordon Cooke only 32 seconds into the game. They played a very simple road period and kept the shots to 6 each through 20 minutes of play.

Lowry then created a shorthanded breakaway early in the second, got tripped up and scored on an ensuing penalty shot to make it 2-0. After a Zach Franco goal off a Bronco skate, Lowry struck again knocking home a loose puck with a backhand on the power play to secure his second hat trick of the season and a 3-1 lead.

“He’s a special player,” Heward noted. “He gives you big minutes, plays against the top lines, scores goals, kills penalties… he’s your franchise guy. He’s one of those guys that will play hard every single night. He goes out and leads by example and our younger guys can take note and watch him every night. If they can do what he does we’ll be successful.”

The momentum started to shift as Myles Bell set up a Ryan Olsen goal with a beautiful pass across the front of the Broncos goal for a goal with 27 seconds left in the second period. The Rockets built on that and JT Barnett tied the game 4:26 into the third as he was left uncovered on the side of the Broncos goal.

Kelowna took their first lead at 9:44 of the third when defenceman Madison Bowey jumped into the play and had a wide open shot to lift the Rockets ahead 4-3. Swift Current struck back with their second shorthanded goal of the game at 13:07. Mackay stole the puck and started a 2 on 1 rush with Colby Cave that Mackay finished himself with a tremendous wrist shot over Cooke’s glove for the 4th of his rookie season.

Any momentum Swift Current would have built from Mackay’s goal was quickly shot when Dylan McKinley took advantage of a Broncos turnover to crash the net and give Kelowna their lead back only 37 seconds later. Codie Fowlie made it 6-4 less than 2 minutes later as he was also uncovered in front of the Swift Current net.

The Broncos kept fighting as Graham Black drew a power play for the third time in the game and Coach Mark Lamb pulled Eetu Laurikainen for a 6 on 4 advantage. They didn’t score on the power play, but Coda Gordon struck with 30 seconds left on a 6 on 5 to give them a puncher’s chance. Lowry had another shot at a puck in the slot with 10 seconds to play but couldn’t beat Cooke and the Broncos ran out of time.

“As a staff we’ll never question our character,” Heward said. “We’ve got guys who will go through a wall for us every single night… I know if this level of work ethic keeps up we’re going to be very successful.”

The losses this week are very reminiscent to the recent three-game Alberta road swing that saw the Broncos pull their goalie in the final minute of each game against top flight teams and come away pointless. They’re hoping to at least start picking up some points on this long swing through BC as they play in Vancouver on Friday and Victoria on Saturday. Those are the final two games they will have Laurikainen available to them before he joins Team Finland for their World Junior Championship selection camp.

Laurikainen took the loss on Wednesday as he allowed 6 goals on 23 shots. Cooke stopped 14 of 19 Swift Current shots. The Broncos were 1 for 6 on the power play, while Kelowna was 1 for 4.

The Broncos are expected to keep goaltender Steve Myland and rookie forward Glenn Gawdin with them throughout the remainder of the weekend. The Broncos may need to press Myland into a starting role next Tuesday in Prince George of Bow isn’t recovered from his lower body injury in time to take over when Laurikainen leaves for Finland.

In addition to Gawdin’s first WHL game it was also Brett Lernout’s first game as a Bronco. The big defenceman was acquired from Saskatoon in a trade for a 4th round 2013 WHL Bantam Draft pick earlier this week.

Wednesday’s victory was Kelowna’s 11th in a row on home ice. The Rockets feature Swift Current native Colton Heffley in their lineup and former Bronco Dan Lambert is an Assistant Coach. Another Swift Current native, defenceman Mackenzie Johnston is currently out of Kelowna’s lineup with an injury.

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About shawnmullin

Play by Play Broadcaster for the WHL's Swift Current Broncos on 94.1 FM The Eagle.
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One Response to Post Game: Rockets 6 Broncos 5

  1. Pingback: New Jersey Devils Prospects Junior Roundup Week 12 | All New Jersey Devils News

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