Post-Game: Hurricanes 6 Broncos 4

Chance Lund shoots on Ty Rimmer (Photo by Darwin Knelsen)

Chance Lund shoots on Ty Rimmer (Photo by Darwin Knelsen)

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



Post-Game with Broncos Assistant Coach Darren Evjen (Download)


  • B&A Petroleum Game Shifter: Lethbridge’s 2nd goal
  • Low Cost Towing Unsung Hero: Dalton Reum
  • Standard Motors Crunch of the Game: Richard Nedomlel/Zac Mackay

That’s another painful loss for a team that has had their share of them this year. It’s such a huge missed opportunity in the standings given how close the two teams were coming into the game and it goes to a pattern of missed opportunity for points the Broncos have had this year. Once the Broncos took a 4-1 lead it was like everything that could go wrong did… a weak goal, blown coverages, turnovers, penalties, missed penalty shots and of course in the end not even getting a single point when they were up by 3 goals.

Just as it seemed like the Broncos were getting away from the types of games that have haunted them this season they had two of them in back-to-back losses. Saturday was the “many opportunities but can’t score enough” game and today was the “have a lead and can’t put a team away” game. There have been a number of games that have been parts of both of those themes as well. All teams will get some games like that. I think at this point in the season the Broncos have had their fill.

After playing very stingy hockey throughout most of December the Broncos have given up 14 goals in their last 3 games. They’ve got to get back to the smart, simple play that made them so tough to score on as they head to Cranbrook and Lethbridge this weekend.

It was good to see Chance Lund back in the lineup after a few games off. The Broncos are still missing Bews, Benson, Derko and Howorko. When they start getting those guys back the guys who have had to play bigger minutes in the meantime should be a lot better for it and the lineup should benefit. That said, those guys being out is obviously a hit at their depth and the Broncos are also looking forward to getting Brycen Martin (U17) and Eetu Laurikainen (World Juniors) back after this weekend.

On that note, Martin had an assist in the third game of the tournament. He had 6 points in 3 games for Team Pacific, much of that on the man advantage. He should help make sure the PP continues to thrive here in Swift Current even when the guys who run it like Scarlett and Nedomlel move on to their pro careers.

The top line continued their strong play. As a trio Adam Lowry, Coda Gordon and Colby Cave have combined for 31 points over 5 games since being put together. Perhaps Cave has found a home at LW in this role? It couldn’t hurt his draft stock to keep putting up numbers like the 8 points he has had over those 5 games.

Ryon Moser (Photo by Darwin Knelsen)

Ryon Moser (Photo by Darwin Knelsen)


Here is my recap from Swift Current Online:

The Lethbridge Hurricanes scored five unanswered goals in the third period to stun the Swift Current Broncos 6-4 on Tuesday afternoon. The Broncos were in front for most of the game and had a 4-1 lead midway through the third before letting it slip away.

“It seems when we got up 4-1 is when we really started turning pucks over,” said Broncos Assistant Coach Darren Evjen. “If there’s a team in this league that should know about turning pucks over and losses it should be us. It’s another tough pill to swallow. Our guys need to understand that the only reason they got back in the game is us turning pucks over and giving them that opportunity.”

The game started well for Swift Current as goals by Ryon Moser and Coda Gordon put them up 2-0 after 20 minutes of play. The Hurricanes cut into the lead with a Brady Ramsay power play goal before a second Gordon goal put Swift Current up 3-1 after two periods of play.

Adam Lowry extended their lead to 4-1 at 3:54 of the third period. He scored once and had an assist to extend his points streak to 15 games.

Lethbridge started the comeback on an innocent looking play when Tyler Wong put the puck towards the Broncos net from the side of the goal and somehow beat Landon Bow to give the Hurricanes life. Less than a minute later Sam Mckechnie converted a Lenny Hackman pass to bring the Hurricanes to within a goal. Remi Laurencelle converted a rebound to bring Lethbridge all the way back and a Daniel Johnston power play goal put them in front for the first time with just over 5 minutes to play. The Hurricanes scored 4 times in 7:28 seconds on the shell shocked Broncos.

“We turned the puck over between the blues countless times,” Evjen said. “When you turn the puck over to a team that has skill like that, and they have skill on three lines, hard skill, you give them every opportunity on odd-numbered situations and if they capitalize they’re going to get right back in the game.”

Evjen expects they will deliver a clear message to their dressing room before games in Cranbrook and Lethbridge this week.

“You have to play the right way and be responsible,” Evjen added. “When you don’t do that you let your teammates down. We had a chance to be tied with these guys today, you couldn’t ask for a better scenario, and the reason we’re not is our own fault. It’s individuals that need to make better decisions with the puck. The work ethic is always there, but you can’t short change your teammates like that.”

Graham Black had a penalty shot late in the third period with a chance to tie the game and hit the crossbar.

Bow played well stopping 17 of 18 shots in the first 40 minutes of the game. He then struggled allowing 4 goals in 17 shots in the 3rd period.

“It’s about working hard and growing mentally,” Evjen said about how the 17-year-old rookie needs to respond. “Making the right decisions, playing the right way. We’ll go back. He’s just got to work hard in practice and we can move on.”

Ty Rimmer got the win with 32 saves on 36 Swift Current shots. Swift Current went 1 for 4 on the power play, while Lethbridge went 2 for 6.

Chance Lund returned to the lineup after an injury and had an assist. The Broncos are still missing F Levi Bews, F Brent Benson, F Josh Derko and F Shea Howorko to injury. D Brycen Martin is away playing in the World Under 17 Hockey Challenge and G Eetu Laurikainen is playing for Finland at the World Junior Championship.

The win moved Lethbridge to 3-0 on the season against Swift Current and 4 points ahead of the Broncos for 5thin the Eastern Conference. The two teams meet again on Saturday in Lethbridge. The Broncos start their brief road swing on Friday in Cranbrook against the Kootenay Ice.

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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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18 Responses to Post-Game: Hurricanes 6 Broncos 4

  1. Anonymous says:

    Keep rolling two lines & playing certain guys till there so gased come the third period & a speedy team like the Bridge will ram it right down your throat.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I disagree Shawn! Spags and Bosc had about 3shifts and i know they are on 4th line but Lernout and Zinkan maybe had 6 shifts all game as well. Enough is enough play these guys as we are not going all the way and we better get the young guys out there as we have 8 or 9 19 year olds and throw in our 3 20 year olds and we will lose 9 players next year. The broncos should be selling Lowry and Scarlett and looking for the future!

    • shawnmullin says:

      Right but I said the third line… the original post said they only played two lines all game and I’d say they rotated three line pretty evenly throughout.

      The playing time complaint I usually hear is off base because the Broncos play their top guys a similar amount to anyone else in the league. I think certain fans here seem to pay more attention to fourth line ice time because local guys have tended to be on the fourth line in recent years, but they don’t get any less ice than any other fourth line.

      • james says:

        Living in Saskatoon, I rarely get a chance to see my old team so I can’t really comment on the relative merits of the poster’s concerns about ice times. And I do agree with your observation in regard to fans and their fixation with local products. However, in the second post I think hear the frustration I’ve had and have encountered with many who are closer to the scene. Namely, there seems to be confusion as to what the organization’s primary goals are this season. Is it to win now and make the playoffs? Or is it to nurture and accumulate young assets with the intention of becoming a legitimate contender for the next 2-4 years? Or is it a mishmash of the two directions? While the two objectives aren’t necessarily in contradiction, I think there is a strong and natural tension between the two. If it’s the former, then I think management has erred by making a fundamental misreading of the team’s strength. This is a hard-working team with character, but not an Eastern contender, let alone a title aspirant. If it’s the latter
        option management is purporting to follow then I think some questions need to be asked and answered. Are ice time decisions being made with winning in mind or with asset development in mind? Is the lack of movement of high value tradeable assets (ie.,Lowry and Scarlett. Possibly Gordon too.) due to an emphasis on winning now? If not, why is the team taking the chance of a significant injury taking place so shortly before the trade deadline? Or being scooped by another team (eg, Brandon with Ferland)? There are only so many teams that are willing to go “all in” in any given year and that have the right mix of young players to package. If a team like Brandon strikes first then you face the very real prospect of diminishing returns for your asset(s). Either way, it seems like they’re playing a dangerous game with the long term future of the Broncos.

        I still believe that management must see the big picture, but I can’t say that I don’t have any worries on that front.

      • shawnmullin says:

        Well the team has said from the beginning their goal is to take the next step and make the playoffs. Jamie Porter also told me in a recent interview they would like to add to their scoring if they could but they likely aren’t at a stage in their development where they want to sacrifice much of their future to do that.

        Are you suggesting that if they are considering offers for their veterans that they should make that public? I don’t understand that logic at all. Whatever their strategy ends up being in terms of the trade deadline I would say keeping their cards close to the chest is the best way to go. What benefit do they get from tipping their hand?

        I don’t know what the Broncos will do. My gut and conversations I’ve had suggest to me they likely won’t make any massive moves. However, you never know what could happen if they get blown away by an offer.

        I understand the logic that says deal your 19-year-old talent now and keep building for contending in 2 years. I also understand the logic of keeping a roster together that has shown it can beat any team in the league and could be a darkhorse come playoffs. Playoff teams don’t always make a habit of dealing their best players. Sometimes you have to give them a chance to finish what they started together and give the young guys around a chance to get a taste of the playoffs. You never know what can happen with strong team defence, physical play and excellent goaltending. The Broncos have spent the last four years developing guys like Lowry and Scarlett. In many ways it would be a shame to not give them a chance to lead them into battle in the playoffs.

        So then you lose them for nothing? Yes that’s a consideration too. It’s how junior hockey works. That doesn’t mean getting high quality assets for them would be the wrong move either. There are arguments both ways.

        We all have our opinions. Of all the fans or media I talk to there are those who say you HAVE to trade Lowry and there are those who say you CAN NOT trade Lowry. There are those who say keep adding young assets and don’t worry about the results yet. There are those who say you have to make the playoffs this year.

        There are no easy answers. The Broncos haven’t made their choices clear yet. I don’t think we can really judge what they do or don’t do until they do it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    So you don’t think Lowry is playing out with the amount of ice time he gets? Like come on this guy isn’t super man. Double shifting, Power play & PK. Great player & has carried this team on his back & don’t know where we would be without him, but this guy is only human.

    • shawnmullin says:

      Saying Lowry has had to play too much is different than saying they only played two lines. All I said was the idea that they only played two lines all game wasn’t correct.

      That said, Lowry hasn’t really double shifted in the last few games. He’s taken a shift or two with the fourth line. So did Black. So did LeSann.

      It’s worth noting Lowry finished +1 in the game so I don’t really think his apparent fatigue had much to do with the result at all. He was a net positive for them like he usually is.

  4. james says:

    No, in no way was I suggesting anything like management should going on the airwaves to announce internal stratagems. That would be silly. My “asked and answered” comment was rhetorical in intent. My fault for obviously not being clear.

    I guess I’m still having trouble reconciling Jamie Porter’s comments about winning now and earlier comments from management about building a long term contender. And by contender, I don’t mean a team that could possibly be a “dark horse”. Betting the farm on dark horse candidates is another way to produce eternal treadmill teams and I thought we were done with that.

    A few year back the Broncos made the tough decision to trade, in Cody Eakin, probably the most popular Bronco player since Joe. That was the right call back then. We had a massive organizational hole in regard to our talent level and that deal went a long to filling it. But it didn’t put us up on the mountaintop. It just got us to ground level, and to me, that’s the level a borderline .500 club is at: looking up at elite clubs as they contend for titles. Looking to next year without Lowry and Scarlett, I see a team without their massive steadying presence, without proven depth – in essence, another best-case scenario of a team hoping to be a dark horse in the playoffs. Trading Lowry and Scarlett gives you 2 or 3 significant (ie, elite) assets within the right age group to give you a real window of opportunity for winning. Opportunities like this don’t come around all that often and organizations that fail to act moreso than not will do so at their peril.

    So yes, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. And lacking a crystal ball, I can’t with certainty say that mine would lead to Memorial Cup contention. But as a strategy for success (success defined as winning) in junior hockey, I can point to innumerable examples. And frankly, I do not know of a more winning strategy. I can also point to examples where organizations, for whatever reason, do not seize the day (most recent, Everett) and how their development is retarded by their inaction.

    • shawnmullin says:

      Well I don’t approve of your use of the word retarded.

      Otherwise I understand your position. It’s an arguable one. If that’s the decision they make I think there’s a good case for it. There is also a strong case for not doing it… that unless you get a proven commodity prospects are just that… prospects. No one was predicting a team like Kootenay was going to win the WHL Championship two years ago until their made a bold move at the deadline and their goalie got hot in the playoffs.

      I’m glad such decisions aren’t in my hands.

      I will say that the situation is different than two years ago because the organization feels they have much more depth than they did back then. However, I do understand where you’re coming from. It’s a worthy discussion point.

    • shawnmullin says:

      On another note, it’s easy to say how much a team will suffer from the loss of certain players, but in junior hockey you a) never know who you might get back and b) never know who might make bold leaps forward. Look at the surprise of Vause emerging as a top player in the league last year or Gordon coming out of no where.

      The Broncos will likely be a younger team next year. Perhaps more like what Moose Jaw is this year… but who knows for sure. Next year is a long way away.

      • james says:

        Thanks for the comments, Shawn. We’ll agree to disagree. :)

        By the way, no pejorative was intended with the use of “retarded”. I was using a common, and I think in this case, appropiate usage of the word. As defined by dictionary.com:

        re·tarded

        verb (used with object)
        1.
        to make slow; delay the development or progress of (an action, process, etc.); hinder or impede.
        verb (used without object)
        2.
        to be delayed.

        Cheers,
        James

        .

  5. james says:

    One last comment. It goes without saying that the kind of players I was referring to are those that have have shown they have the pedigree to excel in the WHL (even if only so far with limited minutes) and/or in elite tournaments like the U17. Names like Virtanen, Chartier, Thomson, Needham, Gardiner, and Chartier come to mind. I’m sure there are others that I’ve overlooked. Of course, nothing is ever guaranteed, but what in life is?

    • shawnmullin says:

      It’s not even a matter of us agreeing to disagree. I’m not saying you’re wrong! I’m just saying the argument can be made both ways.

      I agree with you on the type of players we’re talking about. Would those players be available? Hard for us to answer that. It’s very difficult to move 16-year-olds.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The Broncos if i am correct have: 3 18 year olds, Bews, Gordon and Cave on there roster. if it wasnt for the Eakin trade we would have 2 18 year olds. In my opinion terrible drafting has lead to their demise over the years. This is not entirely there fault as they do not have the money for scouting like the Edmontons Calgary and Portands. I know Richardson chose NCAA but how do you NOT KNOW this when you are using your 1st round pick. Howorko concussion so he is out but a pretty good player. Not one player from the 2009 draft is playing on the broncos this season that is a joke in itself. They need to trade Lowry to Saskatoon so they dont embarrass themselves and then trade Scarlett to Portland or Calgary. They will then in return need to fill the 2009 or 1994 year with some solid depth so they have more than 3 19 year olds next season as this will be the start of the uptrend for the Broncos. They have 8 better than average 17 year olds IMO and some very good 16 year olds in the system. There time is not now but should be in 2014-2015 when there 8 17 year olds are 19 and there solid 1996 16 year olds are 18 years of age.

    Mark Lamb is very smart and will sell the farm come trade deadline day if he plans on being around in 2 years. If not then he will go with his horses and back the franchise up for another rebuild next season when they lose 3 -20 year olds that are weak and 6 19 year olds meaning 9 guys lost for next season off of current roster.

    Mark do what is right for the organization not yourself thats all us as fans want from the man who holds the reigns!

    • shawnmullin says:

      So to clarify… You think they should trade Scarlett and Lowry to address the 1994 age group? I wouldn’t agree with that. If you ever did trade those guys to me it would have to be for players who could be here 3-4 years.

  7. Ryan Switzer says:

    Not that I’m the only person with that last name, but the comment made by ‘Switzer’ isn’t me. I would have disagreed with Mullin more.

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