Post-Game Audio: Americans 2 Broncos 1

Reece Scarlett (Photo by Darwin Knelsen)

Highlights of The New Pioneer Co-op Home Centre Broncos Hockey (Download)

Post-Game Interviews with Darren Evjen and Chance Lund (Download)

Pre-Game Interview with Bobby Zinkan (Download)

Pre-Game Interview with Mark Lamb (Download)

Pre-Game Interview with Americans Coach Jim Hiller (Download)

The Q with Chance Lund (Download)

Get your question on The Q by e-mailing theq@goldenwestradio.com

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Well that was certainly a defensive battle. Neither team gave up much at all through the first fifty minutes and as Darren Evjen said in the post-game show it really came down to who would make the last mistake. I thought the Broncos played a solid game but the lack of offence this week has to be a concern. They’ve now scored only four times in their last three games.

The Broncos haven’t had trouble putting the puck in the net this season so I would think they should be able to get out of this mini-scoring slump shortly. The question is can they do it against a good Prince Albert club? Especially as the Broncos play their fourth game in five days and third game in three days.

The East Division vs. US Division battle hasn’t even been close. Tri-City, Everett and Portland went a combined 13-3-2 against the East Division with Spokane and Seattle still to come. The only teams out here to have a winning record against the US Division teams so far are Moose Jaw and Regina. Swift Current is 0-3 against our American friends and that accounts for 3 of their 4 regulation losses.

Both teams were really boosted by strong goaltending. Neither guy had to steal the show, but they never beat themselves. You have to earn your wins with either Laurikainen or Comrie in goal and that’s a terrific starting point no matter which club you’re a part of.

Lund’s goal brought him to 6 points in his last 7 games. He’s finding his stride as a Bronco and has been giving a boost to whatever line he is moved to over the last two weeks.

Great hit by Bobby Zinkan on Marcus Messier! That should be on the WHL Plays of the Week on Friday in my view. The Broncos got Zinkan more ice on Saturday and I thought he had a solid game. There is going to be an adjustment for a rookie who hasn’t played much all season. That said, you can really see his potential with the puck and it will be good for the team to get him some playing time now.

Tri-City is a team that has been built as much by list-players, late picks and smart trades as it has through high draft picks. They’re an example of good management with good scouting finding a way to stock the shelves even through they have success and don’t get high picks. Anyone can keep their picks and use them. Perhaps the best way to make yourself a consistent success is to identify the talent that others have missed? Tri-City is certainly an example of that… and the Broncos have had some recent success in that department with guys like Graham Black, Ryon Moser and Coda Gordon.

It’s always good to talk to Americans broadcaster Craig West. That man has forgotten more about the game than I will ever know. It would be nice to see our Western Conference counterparts more often as the teams and the broadcast teams all bring something different to the table. I understand why the schedule is what it is for financial reasons, but in an ideal world I know I’d like to see the Broncos visit and host every team every year.

The game against the Raiders doesn’t end this run really. Lethbridge is here on Tuesday, I have to cover an election on Wednesday and then we’re on the bus heading to Cranbrook on Thursday for Friday’s game. There won’t be much time to sit and collect yourself this week. Ah they’re young men… they can handle it… but when am I going to do my laundry!?

Here’s my recap from Swift Current Online:

Connor Rankin scored with 3:20 to go in the third period to lift the Tri-City Americans to a 2-1 victory over the Swift Current Broncos on Saturday night. The teams traded goals in the final ten minutes of the game after they failed to generate any offence in the previous fifty.

Mitch Topping opened the scoring on the power play at 10:47 of the third period when the Broncos failed to clear on three different opportunities. After not scoring throughout the rest of the game, it only took 1:34 for Swift Current to respond as Chance Lund stole a puck in the Americans zone and broke Eric Comrie’s shutout. A breakdown in coverage allowed Rankin to scored the winner for Tri-City a few minutes later.

“It was a good hockey game,” said Broncos Assistant Coach Darren Evjen. “They play a great team game… it was a battle. The shots were close, the score was close and we made the last mistake.”

The teams only combined for 27 shots and a handful of legitimate scoring chances through the first two periods.

“Both teams are very good defensively,” Evjen added. “As it goes on your energy gets down and the first thing to go is the mind, mistakes get made and that’s why sometimes those chances appear later in the game than early.”

Comrie stopped 24 or 25 Bronco shots to earn the win. Eetu Laurikainen made 22 saves in a losing cause. The Broncos were 0 for 2 on the man advantage, while the Americans went 1 for 2.

Tri-City’s win wrapped up a very successful road trip for them as they went 5-0-1 against the East Division. US Division teams have dominated their match-up with the East Division as Portland went 4-1-1 and Everett went 4-2 on their visits to the prairies. Three of Swift Current’s four regulation losses have been against American teams and they’ve yet to lose in regulation to a divisional opponent.

After some big games offensively earlier this season, Swift Current’s scoring has slowed this week. They lost 3-1 to Everett, beat Saskatoon 2-1 and lost 2-1 to Tri-City. Lund believes they’ve got to get pucks deep and bring a physical forecheck.

“We’ve got to keep going deep and hitting the d-men,” Lund said. “That will tire them out and create some space for us.”

After a slow start to his season offensively, Lund has found his stride with 6 points in his last 7 games.

“It’s just the way the games are going,” the 6’5 left winger told The Eagle 94.1 post-game show. “Getting the pucks deep, working in the corners and getting opportunities in front of the net. Those greasy goals in front of the net are nice to have and hopefully more to come.”

It’s been a long week for the Broncos as they had to Prince Albert on Sunday for their fourth game in five days and third in three days. The players know what they have to do during this type of grind.

“Tons of fluids, lots of water and a good night’s sleep,” Lund said.

The Raiders are currently the top team in the East Division despite losing four games in a row. Sunday’s game will be the first of three upcoming visits for the Broncos to Prince Albert over the next few weeks.

You can hear the action live on The Eagle 94.1 FM with The New Pioneer Co-op Home Centre Broncos Hockey at 6:30pm.

The Broncos celebrate Lund’s goal (Photo by Darwin Knelsen)

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About shawnmullin

Play by Play Broadcaster for the WHL's Swift Current Broncos on 94.1 FM The Eagle.
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One Response to Post-Game Audio: Americans 2 Broncos 1

  1. Pingback: Broncos @ Raiders Lineup | Shawn Mullin's Swift Current Broncos Blog

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