The Swift Current Broncos returned to the ice on Friday night to faceoff against the Saskatoon Blades for the third time this season and dropped a 4-3 decision at the Innovation Credit Union I-Plex.
Aleksi Heponiemi completed a beautiful deke on a breakaway attempt to beat Blades goaltender Ryan Kubic at the 14:07 mark of the first period to give Swift Current a 1-0 lead.
The second period was one the Broncos would like to quickly forget as Blades forward Cameron Hebig took over.
First off, Hebig accepted a drop pass from Gage Ramsey in Broncos territory and shot one that went bardown on Logan Flodell to tie it 1-1 minutes into the second period.
Hebig scored his second of the night on a Saskatoon power play at the 12:47 mark to place the Broncos in a 2-1 hole and then pocketed his third of the game on a low shot that seemed to fool Flodell. Hebig collected a natural hat trick in a span 13:41, forcing Swift Current in a 3-1 deficit.
Tyler Lees added another one for Saskatoon 5:51 into the third period, gobbling up a rebound and making it a 4-1 hockey game.
Broncos captain Glenn Gawdin immediately responded, one-timing a perfect shot from inside the left faceoff dot 12 seconds later to cut the deficit to 4-2.
Swift Current continued to rampage on the pressure as Artyom Minulin deflected in his second goal of the campaign on a Broncos power play and it was a one-goal game with plenty of time remaining on the clock.
The Broncos were awarded not one but two penalty shots in the final six minutes of the third period. Kole Gable did a nice forehand backhand move but was denied by the outstretched left pad of Kubic. Heponiemi then had a chance to tie the game on a penalty shot but his low shot attempt was also stopped by Kubic.
Flodell was pulled with two minutes left in regulation but the Broncos could not force extra time in this one, dropping a 4-3 margin.
Shots on goal were 36-33 in favour of the Broncos. The Blades went 1/4 on the power play while Swift Current finished 1/2.
The Broncos have to forget this one and move on as they welcome the Medicine Hat Tigers for the first of four meetings this season on Saturday night at the Innovation Credit Union i-Plex. Puck drop is at 7:00pm.