Broncos fall behind early, knocked off by Hurricanes
The Swift Current Broncos travelled west bound to take on the Central Division’s Lethbridge Hurricanes as part of a mini two-game weekend trip away from home and it was a tough night in the office.
Hurricanes forward Igor Merezhko scored 5:40 into the game as the Broncos were caught chasing the puck in their own end, resulting in the goal.
The Broncos had a troublesome first period as they were outshot 18-6 and trailed 2-0 after the Canes’ Jordy Bellerive netted a power play marker late in the frame. Brad Morrison won the faceoff cleanly in Broncos territory to blue liner Calen Addison who then made a pass to Bellerive, followed by a long point shot that found its way through.
Penalty kill troubles resumed in the second period when defenceman Tate Olson collected his second goal of the season on a Hurricanes power play 3:27 in. That was followed by yet another goal on a man advantage surrendered by Swift Current, this time from the Hurricanes’ Keltie Jeri-Leon and the Broncos stared at a 4-0 hole after 40 minutes of play.
The Broncos would get on the board to begin the third period as former Hurricane Giorgio Estephan got a goal against his former team nonetheless, giving his team life in a 4-1 game with plenty of time left in regulation. Rookie d-man Jacson Alexander made a nice long pass from behind the Canes net to find the 20-year-old Estephan along the left point and earn his second point as a Bronco.
Swift Current captain Glenn Gawdin tipped in his 41st goal of the season (fourth best amongst WHL skaters) by Canes netminder and former Bronco Logan Flodell to make things interesting at 4-2 with 3:35 left on the clock.
The Broncos pulled Stuart Skinner for the extra attacker and created several quality scoring opportunities but could not draw any closer, eventually falling by a 5-2 score after an empty netter from Canes rear guard Ty Prefontaine.
Swift Current outshot Lethbridge 42-36, including a total of 23 shots in the third period alone. The Broncos penalty kill gave up three goals on five times shorthanded while scoring a power play goal on three opportunities.
The Kootenay ICE are next on the schedule for Swift Current as they head further west for a Saturday night tilt at Western Financial Place. Puck drop is at 8:00pm CT.