The stretch drive continues for the Swift Current Broncos Tuesday night as they host the Prince Albert Raiders.
The Broncos and Raiders have had a tight, entertaining season series with Swift Current going 3-3-0-1 against Prince Albert in the previous seven games.
During Home Hardware’s Overtime last night, Broncos forward Graham Black broke down the match-up.
“It’s going to be a great game,” Black said. “They’ve got a ton of skill and we’re going to need to just grind it out.”
He sees it as a clash of styles between the smaller, skilled Raiders and the bigger, gritty Broncos.
“We play two separate games,” Black added. “We’re going to need to overpower them with ours. Our identity is to grind it out and hit. We’re going to have to do that.”
The Raiders have Swift Current product Tim Vanstone in their lineup after he missed a few weeks with a concussion he sustained in a fight with Calgary’s Josh Thrower. It’s an element of his game the 16-year-old is working on.
“A guy like (Assistant Coach) Dave Manson behind the bench he has been giving me tips,” Vanstone said. “You’ve got to get hit to learn how to stop getting hit. I’m learning about that and keeping my role. I feel like I’m playing a good role as an energy guy this year… doing the best I can to keep the coach happy.”
He is also looking forward to the match-up.
“We’ve got to get around their D and get pucks to the net,” Vanstone said. “Our game plan never changes. We’ve got to get pucks to the net, use our team speed… it’s going to be a great game. The two teams are pretty good against each other.”
The Broncos have six games left in their regular season schedule as they try to both secure a playoff spot and move up the standings. They’re 7th in the Eastern Conference, 2 points behind 6th place Medicine Hat, a point ahead of 8th place Kootenay and 7 points ahead of 9th place Lethbridge. The top 8 teams all make the post-season.
“We’re trying to treat every single game like a playoff game,” Black said. “We’re battling for a spot and trying to move up in the standings.”
“I think we’re holding up really good. Everybody trusts each other, we have a great leadership group and our best players are leading by example.”
It’s another busy week for the Broncos as they host the Raiders Tuesday, the Moose Jaw Warriors on Wednesday, visit Moose Jaw on Saturday and head to Brandon on Sunday.
You can hear all the games on The Eagle 94.1 with The New Pioneer Co-op Home Centre Broncos Hockey at 6:30pm.