- Click here for the boxscore
- Click here for the official website recap
- Click here for the Swift Current Online recap
- Click here for video hightlights
Highlights of The New Pioneer Co-op Broncos Hockey (Download)
Post-Game with Jamie Heward and Graham Black (Download)
Pre-Game with Broncos Forward Ryon Moser (Download)
Pre-Game with Prince Albert Raiders Coach Steve Young (Download)
- B&A Petroleum Game Shifter: Broncos 2nd goal
- Low Cost Towing Unsung Hero: Chance Lund
- Standard Motors Crunch of the Game: Daniel Dale
- Herbert Auto Tough Guy of the Game: Dillon Heatherington
Here is my recap from Swift Current Online:
Eetu Laurikainen made 43 saves as the Swift Current Broncos beat the Prince Albert Raiders 3-1 on Friday night. Graham Black and Jay Merkley each had a goal and an assist in a winning cause.
“Everyone was flying out there,” Black said. “Everybody had their head in it. It was just awesome to have that kind of chemistry with a new linemate like Jay Merkley.”
Black and Merkley have played together in both games since the 17-year-old joined Swift Current in a trade from Lethbridge on Monday.
“Such a smart player and you can understand why he went third overall in the bantam draft,” Black added. “Just seeing a guy with that kind of skill come on your line it’s an absolute treat to play with him.”
The line was bolstered by 20-year-old forward Chance Lund. While he wasn’t credited with an assist, Lund worked hard on the forecheck and in front of the net to help create both of the goals and keep the Raiders pinned in their own zone.
“I think the biggest thing is that Black offers a lot of speed up the middle,” said Broncos Assistant Coach Jamie Heward. “He’s dynamic when it comes to that so you’ve got to be a really smart hockey player to play with him. Jay is kind of settled in to a rhythm where… pucks are coming to him because he’s in the right spot and he’s able to make good passes and good plays. Whoever we put on that left side whether it’s (Moser) or (Lund) they’re playing great.”
The Broncos opened the scoring 16:02 of the first period when Lund generated a turnover and Merkley set up Black for a laser shot over the glove of Raiders goaltender Luke Siemens. Prince Albert defenceman Josh Morrissey tied the game up 1:09 into the second period as he ripped a wrist shot over Laurikainen’s glove. Prince Albert had several good chances later in the period and were unable to beat Laurikainen. “We knew they are super skilled up front and we couldn’t play the run and gun game,” Black said. “When we started getting into that it started getting hairy, but third period we started to lock it down and (made them) play our game.”
Swift Current pulled ahead at 2:25 of the third period when Black re-directed a Dillon Heatherington shot on goal and Lund threw it across the front of the net to Merkley. The newest Bronco scored from an almost identical spot to his first goal with Swift Current on Wednesday.
Colby Cave added insurance with the empty netter in the second consecutive game. Adam Lowry got the second assist on Cave’s goal to extend his point streak to what is now the longest in the WHL this season at 19 games.
Laurikainen again had to stand on his head as the Raiders put on some pressure in the final few minutes.
“He’s arguably the best goaltender in the east and I’m assuming in the top 2 or 3 in the entire lead,” Heward said. “Goaltending just instills confidence in a team, it instills confidence in a coaching staff to put a forecheck together and a backcheck together knowing you can go out and not have to worry about your back end. Eetu is the real deal.”
There was only one penalty in the entire game against Daniel Dale for goaltender interference and the Broncos killed it off.
Swift Current host the Central Division leading Calgary Hitmen on Saturday. The Broncos have won three in a row, while the Hitmen have won six straight on top of the Eastern Conference. You can hear tonight’s game on The Eagle 94.1 FM with The New Pioneer Co-op Home Centre Broncos Hockey at 6:30pm.