Game 3: Broncos 3 Hitmen 2

Photo by Darwin Knelsen

Photo by Darwin Knelsen

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

Post-Game Interviews with Darren Evjen, Eetu Laurikainen and Colby Cave (Download)

Pre-Game Interview with Broncos F Graham Black (Download)

Pre-Game Interview with Broncos Coach/GM Mark Lamb (Download)

Pre-Game Interview with Hitmen Coach Mike Williamson (Download)

  • B&A Petroleum Game Shifter: 1-1 goal
  • Low Cost Towing Unsung Hero: Daniel Dale
  • Standard Motors Crunch of the Game: Brett Lernout
  • Herbert Auto Tough Guy of the Game: Adam Lowry
Photo by Darwin Knelsen

Photo by Darwin Knelsen

Here is my recap from Swift Current Online:

Colby Cave scored in overtime on Monday to lift the Swift Current Broncos to a 3-2 win over Calgary in game 3 of their first round playoff series. It was the second of the game for Cave and cut Calgary’s lead in the best of seven to 2-1.

“You always dream of scoring that overtime winner,” Cave said. “Being able to get that goal to win it for the boys is pretty special… it’s something I’ll remember for the rest of my life for sure.”
It was the first playoff win for the Broncos since 2009 in their first home playoff game since that time. The win came despite giving up a 2-1 lead by allowing a goal with 33 seconds left in the third period.

“It’s unbelievable the win tonight for the Swift Current Broncos and the City of Swift Current,” said Broncos Assistant Coach Darren Evjen. “It’s got to feel great for all our fans. To go through so much adversity and find a way to win this game I don’t think anybody could be prouder of our hockey team than tonight.”

Eetu Laurikainen rebounded from inconsistent outings in games 1 and 2 to lead the way for the Broncos with 43 saves.

“I can say I struggled the first two games,” Laurikainen said. “I just tried to forget those games and (play) like I did in the regular season. Maybe the first game, first period everyone was a little bit nervous and me too. In the second game it was a little bit better and now a great game in front of our home crowd.”

The first-year goaltender from Finland held Swift Current in the game as they struggled in the first period. The Broncos were out-shot 18-6 in the period and Laurikainen held Calgary to only one goal as Cody Sylvester knocked the puck off Broncos defenceman Brett Lernout’s stick and in.

“Our first period wasn’t that good,” Laurikainen said. “We made a lot of mistakes… then we got yelled at in the intermission. I think that helped and we came (out) much better in the second period.”

The Broncos tied the game at 12:38 of the second when Adam Lowry converted on a 5 on 3 power play. They out-shot Calgary 13-10 and turned their game around in the period.

“Bend but don’t break,” Evjen said. “We start playing better, they take some penalties… we tie it up, get into the third and we’re getting stronger.”

Cave gave the Broncos their first lead of the series at 5:37 of the third period as he converted the rebound of a Reece Scarlett point shot.

Calgary then put the pressure on Swift Current late searching for the equalizer. With Hitmen goalie Chris Driedger on the bench for the extra attacker, Scarlett put the puck straight out of play on a clearing attempt for a delay of game penalty. Despite a couple of good chances to clear the zone for Swift Current, the Hitmen kept the puck in and got it to Silvester for the equalizer with 33 seconds left in regulation to force overtime.

“It total shows what kind of character, what kind of leadership we have when we dominate overtime,” Evjen said. “It’s not a poor me it’s let’s really dig in here boys. We know what the situation is, our guys dig in, we out-shoot them 13-3 in overtime. We take control of our destiny, finally get a goal and get ourselves in the series now.”

The winner was the latest clutch goal for Cave who has shown a penchant for scoring late in games this season. The North Battleford product scored 14 of his 21 goals in the second half of the season as he emerged as a go-to two-way player for the Broncos.

Lowry had a 3 point night for Swift Current.

Driedger also played a strong game in goal for Calgary between the pipes stopping 39 of the 42 Swift Current shots.

Both teams went 1 for 4 on the man advantage.

The Hitmen and Broncos meet again for game 4 on Tuesday night in Swift Current and the Broncos want to avoid another slow start.

“In the first period we were playing pretty passive,” Cave said. “We weren’t getting on their D like we planned. We just need to stick to our game plan and come out right from the face-off.”

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

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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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