- Click here for the boxscore
- Click here for the official website recap
- Click here for the Swift Current Online recap
Highlights of The New Pioneer Co-op Broncos Hockey (Download)
Post-Game with Broncos Assistant Coach Darren Evjen (Download)
Pre-Game with Broncos Coach/GM Mark Lamb (Download)
- B&A Petroleum Game Shifter: 3rd Kootenay goal
- Low Cost Towing Unsung Hero: Tanner LeSann
- Standard Motors Crunch of the Game: Daniel Dale
- Herbert Auto Tough Guy of the Game: Richard Nedomlel
Here is my recap from Swift Current Online:
The Swift Current Broncos couldn’t crack the Kootenay Ice on Friday night in Cranbrook. Mackenzie Skapski made 26 saves as the Ice beat the Broncos 4-1.
It was the third straight loss for the Broncos and a fourth consecutive win for Kootenay.
“It’s about being prepared to play right from the get-go,” said Broncos Assistant Coach Darren Evjen. “Tonight you could say we just weren’t ready to go from the start.”
Neither team got off to a hot start as they played a fairly safe first period. Brock Montgomery deflected in a point shot on the power play at 11:21 to give Kootenay a 1-0 lead through twenty minutes of play. They added to it when the Broncos fumbled with the puck in their own end on the power play and Sam Reinhart burned them with a shorthanded goal. Swift Current started to change the momentum until they turned the puck over on a clearing attempt in the final minute of the period and Jaedon Descheneau handcuffed goaltender Steve Myland to make it 3-0 for the Ice.
“It was almost like there was two games in one,” Evjen noted. “I thought out first half we had a tough time… just battling in general. With about seven minutes left in the second we started playing well then they get that goal right at the end of the period. You never want to give up a goal in the last minute. Going into the third we had a couple of lines that really pushed us to get back in the game.”
The Broncos got on the board in the third period when Adam Lowry fed a puck from the corner out to rookie Tanner LeSann and he notched his 4th goal of the season. The assist extended Lowry’s points streak to 16 games. The Broncos were sparked by juggling their lines to put Lowry with LeSann and Daniel Dale.
“Those guys are physical and they’re hard… same as Lowry,” Evjen said. “They just started working. They were winning battles, they were forechecking and (Kootenay’s) defence was turning over pucks.”
Swift Current had a number of chances for the rest of the period and couldn’t beat Skapski. They outshot the Ice 27-20 and 12 to 6 in the third. Kootenay then put the game away when Erik Benoit scored into an empty net.
“If you’re good with the puck you can be very hard to play against,” Evjen added. “Probably the most dangerous guy. That’s where we lacked. We weren’t dangerous with the puck, we weren’t making plays, we weren’t hitting the net.”
The Broncos looked lethargic at times as they continued to deal with a short lineup and a bout of the flu throughout their lineup. They’re still missing Levi Bews, Brent Benson, Josh Derko and Shea Howorko to injury. Bryce Martin and Eetu Laurikainen return from international competitions after the weekend.
“You go into every game whoever is playing is playing,” Evjen said. “We’ve won with guys out, we’ve played against teams who we’ve lost to with guys out… that’s the wrong mindset. The mindset is you’re in, now you have an opportunity.”
Laurikainen’s stint with Finland at the World Juniors has opened up playing time for Myland and Landon Bow in goal. They both earned shutouts in their first starts after Laurikainen’s departure and both had up and down starts in losses this week.
“There’s a big difference between coming in in the middle of the game and finishing it off or coming in once every four games,” Evjen said. “When you have to go night-after-night it’s a big difference. That’s part of their experience in learning how to become a starter. You have to be prepare and you have to be good every night to become a starter in this league. There’s not a deep pool of goaltenders that can do that. You hope with more experience they can… grow into that role.”
The Broncos will take their battered lineup to Lethbridge on Saturday for a re-match against the Hurricanes. Swift Current blew a 4-1 lead against Lethbridge and lost 6-4 on Tuesday. They’re 4 points back of the Hurricanes and Saskatoon Blades for 5th in the Eastern Conference.
You can hear Saturday’s game on The Eagle 94.1 FM with The New Pioneer Co-op Home Centre Broncos Hockey at 7:30pm.