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Adam Lowry and Graham Black are back with the Broncos after they performed well for Team WHL in Games 5 and 6 of the Subway Super Series. They met us in Calgary as we were on the way to Red Deer for the start of a road swing, and their teammates greeted them with congrats for successful showings. Lowry was captain and scored in Game 6, but Russia won the game 5-2 to secure a victory in the series. Both games were tightly played and ultimately Team WHL just couldn’t find enough offence against Saskatoon Baldes goalie Andrey Makarov.
Swift Current’s captain scored an Adam Lowry style goal as he went hard to the net on the PP and put the puck home on a nice feed from Colin Smith. Their line was getting Team WHL going again, but Russia scored on the next shift and took control of the game. Lowry played another strong game and brought an element that I have to think Hockey Canada was keeping a close eye on. He again was out in every special teams situation and showed his battle level down low, but the goal was a nice example of how he has good touch around the net and can contribute offensively against elite opposition.
Black showed well in both games despite more of a limited role. He threw a big hit and asserted himself in the battles. That helped him draw a penalty at a key time later on. Again in this game Black was able to use his bursts of speed to create some openings and I think showed the hockey world why he was drafted by New Jersey last year and why he is such a key cog when the Broncos have success.
I hope both guys get a long look when Hockey Canada makes up their list for World Junior Championship camp. Any team is better for having them as a part of it, but obviously no country has the kind of depth and options that Canada has. Hopefully they get an opportunity. Even if they don’t, the chance to perform at this level was a great reward for their hard work.
Now it’s back to the grind of the WHL schedule with a tough three game road swing through Alberta. The Broncos have been playing their best hockey of late and have every intention of building on that after a week of practice that Coach/GM Mark Lamb was very happy with. It won’t be easy. They’ll start with a Red Deer club likely to be loaded with emotion after the firing of Coach Jesse Wallin (click here and here for good coverage of the move) earlier this week and the return of Brent Sutter behind the bench. That kind of change often really fires a team up, especially in their first game after the move. The trip doesn’t get any easier as the Broncos then have to take on two of the top Eastern Conference teams in Calgary and Edmonton.
It’s going to be tough… it’s also a good opportunity for the Broncos to test themselves and the improvements they have especially made in their own zone. It’s a measuring stick road trip and I’m looking forward to see how the Broncos step up to the challenge. They haven’t had too many bad games all year despite their .500 record. Now we’ll see if they can keep that up and take it up a notch enough to earn a couple of very big wins.
Our broadcast of The New Pioneer Co-op Home Centre Broncos Hockey tomorrow is set for 8pm Saskatchewan time.