Highlights from Broncos Hockey on The Eagle 94.1 FM
Post-Game Coach’s Show with Darren Evjen
Post-Game Ryan Switzer interviews Andy Blanke
Cody Eakin Tribute (aired during radio time out)
Pre-Game Interview with Cody Eakin
Pre-Game Interview with Broncos Coach/GM Mark Lamb
Pre-Game Interview with Ice Coach Kris Knoblauch
That was a heck of a hockey game. From a broadcaster’s perspective that’s as fun a game as you’re going to get. Lead changes, big hits, great fights… certainly everything you could ask from the WHL except overtime. I suspect that game really should have ended up in extra time. Both teams brought it.
That means nothing to Broncos though. The end result is that Swift Current is pointless in their last two games and have still lost 10 of their last 11. They’re now tied for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, but Prince Albert has a couple of games in hand as well. After spending most of the season on the inside… the Broncos are now basically on the outside looking in.
The good news? Swift Current controls their own destiny. Including the game against Edmonton tonight, 10 of their final 13 games are against teams they are battling for the final playoff spots. There is a home and home with Brandon next weekend, a home and home with Calgary at the start of March, 2 more at home against Regina and 3 more games against Prince Albert. They couldn’t ask for a better opportunity than that. It’s up to the guys in that room whether or not they’ll see any playoff action.
One thing that really stood out for me last night was the way they responded on shifts after goals. The Ice scored 3 goals in 1:15 late in the first period and then scored less than a minute after the Broncos made it 3-1 in the second period. It was a hard-fought game for most of it, but this Broncos club needs to do a better job responding on shifts after goals. They can’t afford to relax after they score and they can’t afford to get scrambly after they give one up. Those break downs cost them the game. Their mental game needs to be better.
I just wanted to quickly congratulate the Broncos and Roughriders for putting on a terrific night last night. Over 2500 fans packed the Credit Union iPlex showing both their Rider and Bronco pride. The jerseys looked great, the Rider players on hand were wonderful ambassadors for their organization (I’ll have interviews with all four of them up on the blog early this week if not tomorrow) and Bronco fans got to salute their former Captain as Cody Eakin returned home with his new team. I thought the crowd was very warm and welcoming to Cody after he gave them so much over four years. His old teammates were not so welcoming though as they played him hard and held him to just one assist on the night… and a memorable tilt against old teammate Kyle Verdino. I know everyone here wishes him well as he tries to lead the Ice to a WHL Championship, as long as Kootenay and Swift Current don’t match up again.
(Photo by Elizabeth Huber)
How about that Andy Blanke/Brock Montgomery fight? That was a fierce battle and both men showed respect for one another after the fact. Blanke had a great game as he fired up the team with his fight and scored a beautiful goal (after a perfect feed from Reece Scarlett) to tie the game in the third.
I’d say all four goals the Broncos scored last night were highlight reel markers. Dowling made a perfect feed to Hoban on the first one. Vause made a ridiculous play with one hand on his stick on the second one. Peddle turned a tiny hole into a beautiful goal when the drove the net on the third one… and I just mentioned Blanke’s goal. This team has the tools to produce more than they have in 2011. They need to pick it up in the final month.
There was also a ton of money raised for local minor football and minor hockey. Add that to the money raised for breast cancer awareness last week and we are all reminded that this organization does way more than ice a hockey club. They are an essential part of this community.
It’s right back to the battle for the Broncos tonight as they host Edmonton. It’s Ladies Night at the Credit Union iPlex as well so bring your dates and treat them to some terrific, playoff-style hockey action. That beats a romantic dinner in my books anytime. Our broadcast starts with the 6:30pm pre-game show on The Eagle 94.1 FM.
See you at the rink!