- Click here for the Swift Current Online recap
- Click here for the boxscore
- Click here for the official website recap
- Click here for the video highlights
Highlights of The New Pioneer Co-op Broncos Hockey (Download)
Post-Game Interviews with Jamie Heward and Adam Lowry (Download)
Pre-Game Interview with Broncos F Adam Lowry (Download)
Pre-Game Interview with Broncos Coach/GM Mark Lamb (Download)
Pre-Game Interview with Hitmen Coach Mike Williamson (Download)
Overtime Interview with Broncos Chairman Liam Choo-Foo (Download)
- B&A Petroleum Game Shifter: OT winner/Non-Call
- Low Cost Towing Unsung Hero: Daniel Dale
- Standard Motors Crunch of the Game: Daniel Dale
- Herbert Auto Tough Guy of the Game: Zac Mackay
Well what can you say about what happened in that game? Let me start off by saying that was as well-played a playoff game by both teams as I’ve seen in my time covering junior hockey. They both gave everything they had and committed themselves fully to their game plans in a game that featured very few mistakes and a ton of intensity.
The quality of the game makes it even tougher to swallow the way it ended. Let there be no doubt it was a missed call. I had a chance to watch the replay on a big screen after the game and it was clear as day a glove pass by Brooks Macek. It’s clear enough that Hitmen defenceman Spencer Humphries admitted they got lucky in a Calgary Herald article. I had some question as to whether or not the puck hit Laurikainen’s stick before Rask’s, but it looked to me like that wasn’t the case… and either way you would think if the referees had noticed a gloved pass into the crease they’d have blown the play dead without obvious contact from a Bronco.
It sucks. It was a horrible time for a blown call and couldn’t be more costly to the Broncos. It doesn’t get much worse in terms of having a mistake by the officials impact the game.
That said… some of the reaction was over the top. They missed it but anyone suggesting the referees did anything more than make a mistake is way out of line. It’s silly to suggest officials are out to get any one team or another. These guys are human and are going to make mistakes. Should they be held accountable for those mistakes? Absolutely. That’s true of anyone in any job. That doesn’t mean there was any malice at all behind the error.
So why wasn’t the play reviewed? It’s not reviewable. There are a finite number of things the video goal judge can review and a glove pass leading to a goal isn’t one of them. If the puck had been batted right in they could have reviewed that, but not the pass before the goal. Should it be an option? It’s a subject we can debate though opening up plays before goals for review begs the question how far do you go? Do you review an offside before a goal? How far back before that goal can you go? In this case it sure felt like justice would have been served if that review was an option. I’m not sure how you would specifically change the rules to accommodate that.
The other thing that bothered me was the littering of the ice. I understand the frustration of Bronco fans. The fans were loud, proud and very supportive over the two home games this week. I loved being part of that atmosphere and can’t wait for the Broncos to force a game 6 so we can live through that again. However, think of how it makes you look when a small percentage of fans start littering the ice and in some cases even risk injuring people with containers that still had liquid in them? The boos and anger I totally understand… but not that. Please to anyone in that situation again in the future think twice about your actions and the perception they create.
The Broncos and Hitmen can both hold their heads high after a terrific hockey game. For Swift Current in particular I have never seen a hockey team work as hard as they have worked and display as much passion as they have displayed in this series. Outside of a couple of bad first periods and a bad overtime in game 1 they have executed the game plan exactly how the coaches would draw it up and given themselves every chance to win. The game plan the coaches drew up has been excellent and the team has followed it tremendously. It’s unfortunate they find themselves in a 3-1 hole when they are playing the right way… but Calgary is a terrific team too and we knew this wouldn’t be easy. You can do everything right against them and they can still find a way to win games.
A missed call in game 4 makes the mountain that much steeper. That doesn’t mean the Broncos are done. This group deals with adversity with steely resolve and I expect nothing less when we head to Calgary for game 5. Don’t count them out yet.
Here is my recap from Swift Current Online:
Controversy and heartbreak for the Swift Current Broncos last night.
Victor Rask scored 37 seconds into overtime to life the Calgary Hitmen to a 1-0 win over the Swift Current Broncos on Tuesday night. The victory gave Calgary a 3-1 lead in the first round best of seven series.
Controversy came as it appeared Brooks Macek was guilty of a glove pass on the winning goal.
“To see the look on 16, 17, 18 and 19 year old kids that just got cheated,” said Broncos Assistant Coach Jamie Heward. “That’s really unfortunate. I feel really bad for them. To have a game decided by non players… not acceptable. What else can I say? Everybody in the rink saw it.”
Glove passes before goals are not eligible for video review in the WHL regulations. The non-call sparked outrage from Bronco fans who littered the arena with boos and some littered the ice with trash.
Heward believes it could further galvanize the Broncos.
“They didn’t beat us tonight,” Heward said. “In our minds we did not lose to the Calgary Hitmen. I told our guys we did not get beat by that team. I think we can hold our heads and say going into Calgary that we feel pretty good about ourselves.”
Neither team gave up much room to operate as the game remained scoreless throughout regulation. It was an intense and physical game from both clubs.
“I’ve seen games like this at the pro level,” Heward said. “When you’re getting 17-19 year kids to buy in and do it at this level… is pretty impressive.”
The Broncos out-shot the Hitmen 28-27 in a game with not much to give between the opponents. Calgary had a slight edge in play and a 12-9 shot advantage after the first period, while the Broncos had a 13-8 advantage in the second period. Neither team got much to the net with only 6 shots a piece in a very tight third period.
Graham Black had the best chance for the Broncos on a give and go with Ryon Moser that Chris Driedger was barely able to deny.
Driedger made 28 saves to get the shutout for Calgary, while Eetu Laurikainen stopped all but the final controversial Calgary shot.
“To have the game end the way it did is definitely a deflating feeling,” said Broncos Captain Adam Lowry. “We know we played well. We didn’t give them any opportunities… there’s a lot of positives we can take into game 5 in Calgary. Our backs are kind of up against the wall down 3-1, but I think we’ve played well in the series. If we play another game as strong as we did tonight I think we are confident that we should get some success.”
After a combined 11 goals in game 1 the two clubs have really tightened up their defensive play.
“We noticed their speed coming through the neutral zone,” Heward said. We tried to not tweak too much of what we were doing from the regular season and it hurt us. We tried to move our guys back a little bit and just play a man on man. It’s worked for the most part. You’ve got to try to eliminate their speed, you’ve got to try and be in their face all the time… I think our guys have done a fantastic job.”
Now Swift Current will have to regroup with their season on the line on Thursday night in Calgary.
The Broncos are organizing a fan bus to the game and details are available at scbroncos.com. We will have the game on The Eagle 94.1 FM with The New Pioneer Co-op Home Centre Bronocs Hockey at 6:30pm on Thursday.
Game 6 if necessary would be played Saturday in Swift Current.