- Click here for the boxscore
- Click here for the official website recap
- Click here for the Swift Current Online recap
- Click here for video highlights
Highlights of The New Pioneer Co-op Home Centre Broncos Hockey (Download)
Post-Game with Broncos Assistant Darren Evjen and G Eetu Laurikainen (Download)
Pre-Game with Broncos Coach/GM Mark Lamb (Download)
Pre-Game with Raiders Coach Steve Young (Download)
Pre-Game with Broncos F Colby Cave (Download)
- B&A Petroleum Game Shifter: Laurikainen’s save on McNeill
- Low Cost Towing Unsung Hero: Ryon Moser
- Standard Motors Crunch of the Game: Brett Lernout
- Herbert Auto Tough Guy of the Game: Tanner LeSann
Click here for our recap from Swift Current Online:
Eetu Laurikainen made 35 saves for the shutout as the Swift Current Broncos beat the Prince Albert Raiders 3-0 on Saturday. It was the first career WHL shutout for the Finnish netminder.
“It feels great,” Laurikainen said. “It took 43 games to do this. It’s kind of a monkey off my back now.”
Laurikainen had to be sharp in the third period as the Raiders fired 16 shots on goal. The recently turned 20-year-old made a fantastic stop on Canadian World Junior forward Mark McNeill as he he threw his body across the front of the goal to stop what appeared to be a sure goal.
“There was a pass across and I saw that McNeill got the puck,” Laurikainen said. “I don’t know what I was thinking but I made the pad stack. It was lucky but I’ll take it.”
The win snapped a three-game losing skid for the Broncos in the middle of perhaps the toughest stretch in their schedule.
“I think was the most important win of this season,” Laurikainen said. “We lost three games in a row (playing) against tough teams, we’re going to play against tough teams some more so it was really important.”
The Broncos got off to a good start getting their cycle game going and controlling the puck in Prince Albert territory. They opened the scoring when Adam Lowry jammed home the rebound of a Brycen Martin shot. Brett Lernout then extended that lead to 2-0 as Graham Black took a hit to get him the puck and the rookie defenceman wristed his first career goal over the shoulder of Raiders goaltender Luke Siemens.
“We came out, we worked hard, we played smart,” said Broncos Assistant Coach Darren Evjen. “We started getting back to a pretty detailed game which is really important to our hockey club.”
Siemens was the story throughout much of the game as he held his team to within striking distance despite a barrage of high quality scoring chances. The overage netminder made 38 saves in a losing cause for the Raiders. Swift Current outshot the Raiders 15-8 in the second period and weren’t able to get any insurance on their 2-0 lead.
The game started to turn in the third period as Prince Albert was getting pucks to the net and generating some quality scoring chances.
“We were soft on some pucks we could have got deep,” Evjen said. “D turned some pucks over they didn’t need to do… it kind of game PA some momentum. We had so many chances to score tonight that guys get over aggressive to score and they forget we’re up 2-0… we’ve just got to make sure we play the game for sixty minutes to our game.”
After some great saves by Laurikainen, Chance Lund put the game out of reach with a late goal on the wrap-around for Swift Current. Lowry got an assist on Lund’s goal for a 2-point night. Coda Gordon will likely also get an assist on the goal upon review. His assist on Lowry’s goal was the 100th point of his young WHL career.
The Broncos went 0 for 2 on the power play and held the Raiders to 0 for 3. The win gave Swift Current sole possession of 7th place in the Eastern Conference. They’re 2 points up on 8th place Medicine Hat and 3 points up on 9th place Kootenay. The Broncos are also only 2 points back of 6th place Lethbridge with 4 games in hand.
Swift Current’s busy weekend continues on Sunday with a home game against the Eastern Conference leading Edmonton Oil Kings. The Broncos are winless in 3 games against Edmonton this season and the Oil Kings have won 11 games in a row.
“In our own end we’ve got to be physical,” Evjen said. “They’ve got skilled guys, they’re strong on the puck. We have to put in that battle. Off that is how you can generate some opportunities. Every chance we get we’ve got to get pucks to the net and we’ve got to have guys going to the net.”
Puck drop is 7:05pm at the Credit Union iPlex. You can listen to the game on The Eagle 94.1 FM with The New Pioneer Co-op Home Centre Broncos Hockey at 6:30pm.