- Click here for the boxscore
- Click here for the Swift Current Online recap
- Click here for video highlights
Highlights of The New Pioneer Co-op Broncos Hockey (Download)
Post-Game Interview with Broncos Assistant Coach Jamie Heward (Download)
Pre-Game Interview with Broncos D Reece Scarlett (Download)
Pre-Game Interview with Broncos Coach/GM Mark Lamb (Download)
Pre-Game Interview with Blades Coach/GM Lorne Molleken (Download)
- B&A Petroleum Game Shifter: Scarlett’s goal to make it 4-1
- Low Cost Towing Unsung Hero: Richard Nedomlel
- Standard Motors Crunch of the Game: Zac Mackay
- Herbert Auto Tough Guy of the Game: Dakota Odgers
That’s quite a way to avoid overtime. The Broncos completely dominated the blue paint on the way to a crushing 10-1 win over the Memorial Cup hosts. It was also a nice way for them to rebound after being unable to put the Blades away last Saturday.
A 10-1 game may make it appear like Swift Current completely controlled the game, but there were certainly moments where it could have gone the other way. Saskatoon kept the Broncos hemmed into their own zone for a couple of significant portions in the first period and had a terrific opportunity with the late period 5 on 3. Eetu Laurikainen’s 19 first period saves and some excellent penalty killing allowed Swift Current to maintain a 2-0 lead. The PK has been terrific at times this season and in particular really don’t give up the kind of wide open looks down low that teams can usually get on a 5 on 3. The penalties at the end of the first and early in the second were really the only issues the Broncos had with discipline in the game. They didn’t come at a good time, but at least it wasn’t a concern throughout the game.
The Broncos were very opportunistic early in the game. When they created chances they took advantage of them and that seemed to lead to more and more Saskatoon frustration. As the Blades got flustered, the Broncos kept their foot on the gas and finished Saskatoon off. That’s the attitude they have to have with the lead. No one expects 10-1 wins every night, but the Broncos have to stay hungry and aggressive when they get the lead. The win over the Blades is one example of how to do that.
I thought the Spagrud goal and the Scarlett goal were still both huge moments in a game that could have stayed close. The Broncos were on the PK so stuck in their own zone for the early part of the second period before Spagrud converted on their first opportunity of the period. That’s the kind of goal that can really crush a team’s momentum.
However, the Blades bounced back with their only goal of the game 40 seconds later. After giving up two different 3-0 leads early this season, the Broncos didn’t allow the Saskatoon goal to rattle them. Laurikainen made a big save on another quick Astles chances and then some terrible battle level from the Broncos restored the 3 goal lead. Derko forced the puck out and deep into Blades territory, Bews won it in the corner and drew a delayed penalty and then a centering pass went from Bews to Cave to Scarlett for what was a very significant goal. It was good awareness by Scarlett to go to the net on a delayed penalty and he managed to score even with a player draped over him.
The Broncos then got a little bit of puck luck to start pulling away. A shot by Bews turned into an own goal by Noggier of the Blades as he tried to clear the rebound and put it into his own net. The next goal was a centering pass by Moser that banked in off Dietz. Both goals were a good example of why it’s never a bad play to at least get the puck to the net.
Up 6-0 the power play took over and was unstoppable even when the coaching staff sent out the third and fourth liners once the game was out of reach completely. The man advantage went 5 for 5 and did a lot of their bets work in battles in front of the Saskatoon net.
Congrats are due to Tanner LeSann who picked up not only his first WHL point (an assist on Heatherington’s goal) and his first WHL goal. Brycen Martin made a fantastic pass from his own zone to give LeSann an eternity on a breakaway and LeSann made it count with a terrific shot.
As good as the top guys were like Lowry and Scarlett with 4 points, Gordon and Bews with 3 points and several others with 2 points… it was also impressive to see how strong the young third and fourth lines were in the game and how hard they kept working with their increased minutes in the third period of a lopsided game. Chance Lund and Daniel Dale provided veteran presence and strength for those two lines as well.
I could go through and praise everyone who played well in the game… but it would take a while to do. The basic answer here is that the Broncos bought in to how they had to play and showed some killer instinct when they got the Blades on the ropes. They also got some strong goaltending when they needed it and won the special teams war.
It was a scary game for Blades fans as Lorne Molleken told the Star-Phoenix they have hit rock bottom. There is a lot of very good talent on that team and Molleken is a great coach so it feels like it’s only a matter before they turn things around, but it was surprising how little emotion they seemed to display as the game started to get ugly. Tonight’s game in Edmonton is a real test in character for the Memorial Cup hosts as they’ve had a tough week and a tough start to the regular season in general.
The Broncos now come back home to host the Pats again. Their first game of the season saw Regina come back from down 3-0 to win 4-3 in OT. The Pats showed guts and determination in that game and their very skilled top 6 forward group isn’t to be taken lately. That 5 forward power play they use looked pretty slick. The Pats have had a good week with a win over Moose Jaw and then another last night over Red Deer. They got Colton Jobke back from the AHL and are riding some momentum coming into Swift tonight.
The Broncos will try to repeat what they did in the first period of the last game between the two teams. I don’t mean they should dominate to the extent they did over those twenty minutes, but they’ve got to stay physical and aggressive on the forecheck all throughout the game.
A terrific old rivalry continues tonight at the Credit Union iPlex. Our broadcast of The New Pioneer Co-op Broncos hockey starts at 6:30pm. It’s also worth mentioning that the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame at the iPlex is now open. You can check it out for free from 6pm to 7pm on game nights. It’s upstairs at the back entrance and well worth a look.
Here is my recap from Swift Current Online:
Adam Lowry and Reece Scarlett each had 4 points as the Swift Current Broncos broke a three game overtime losing streak with a 10-1 victory on Friday night in Saskatoon.
Levi Bews and Coda Gordon had 3 point nights, while Brycen Martin, Colby Cave, Ryon Moser, and Tanner LeSann added 2 points each. LeSann’s goal and assist were both the firsts of his WHL career. Moser’s goal extended his point scoring streak to six games.
“If you can get those every night you don’t have to worry about going into overtime,” said Broncos Assistant Coach Jamie Heward.
Eetu Laurikainen made 46 saves for Swift Current and was named third star as he held off an early storm of Saskatoon shots. The Blades used a late period 5 on 3 to put up 19 shots in the first period alone. Swift Current held Saskatoon to 0 for 4 on the man advantage, but scored on all 5 of the power play chances they had.
“Our penalty kill was great,” said Heward. “If they scored on that (5 on 3) and they score on the next penalty, then we’ve got a hockey game. The fact that our penalty kill came out and did the job gave us an opportunity.”
Lowry opened the scoring midway through the first period as he went uncovered to the front of the Saskatoon net and knocked home a great feed from Coda Gordon. Bews, a former Blade, made it 2-0 on a scramble in front of the net.
“You’ve got to battle in front of the nets to get any rewards,” Heward added. “With our size, speed and grit… if we can get into those areas we’re going to win a lot of games.”
Two penalty kills early in the second period had the Broncos stuck in their own end to start. Justin Spagrud’s 3rd of the season opened the flood gates as they’d strike 7 times in the second period alone to put the game out of reach. The Broncos took advantage of some bounces as Bladesdefenceman Nelson Noggier put the rebound of a Bews shot into his own net and Moser’s centering pass deflected in off Saskatoon defender Darren Dietz. Swift Current’s power play then quickly converted 3 chances to take an 8 goal lead into the third period.
The only scoring in the third period came when Martin sprung LeSann for a breakaway on a perfect pass from his own zone and the rookie forward scored his first career goal.
Saskatoon goaltender Alex Moodie allowed 7 goals on 22 shots. He gave way to Andrej Makarovand the import netminder then gave up 3 goals on 17 Swift Current shots. Dakota Odgers and TravisMcEvoy squared off in the only fight of the game.
The Broncos record now sits at 2-0-3-1 heading into a home game on Saturday night against the Regina Pats. Regina beat the Broncos 4-3 in overtime in the only meeting between the two teams this season. The Pats beat Red Deer 3-2 on Friday.
You can hear Saturday’s game with The New Pioneer Co-op Home Centre Broncos Hockey on The Eagle 94.1 FM at 6:30pm