The Swift Current Broncos squared off with the Lethbridge Hurricanes in an entertaining affair that saw the Broncos erase a 3-1 deficit with Ryan Graham netting a pair of goals, but Jordy Bellerive’s late marker for the Hurricanes proved to be the difference in a 4-3 defeat.
The Hurricanes struck early and often with goals coming from Colton Kroeker and Ryley Lindgren within the first six minutes of the game. Kroeker scooped up a rebound off a wrist shot from Brennan Menell on a Hurricanes power play while Lindgren’s 10th of the season came on a low wrist shot that beat Broncos goaltender Travis Child.
When it was Swift Current’s turn to have a man advantage, they ran with it as Ryan Graham stripped the puck off a Lethbridge defender behind the net to set up Tyler Steenbergen who notched his team-leading 19th goal.
Moments after the Broncos successfully killed off a Hurricanes power play, Egor Babenko roofed one past Travis Child from the right faceoff dot to make it a 3-1 game. Taz Burman entered the game in relief of Child after the goal.
The Broncos responded again on the power play with Graham redirecting home his fourth goal in three games to cut the deficit to 3-2. Max Lajoie and Aleksi Heponiemi collected the assists on the goal from Graham and the score was 3-2 in what was a wild first period.
Babenko was awarded a penalty shot in the second period and Burman was calm and cool, making a low right pad save to keep the Broncos within a goal.
Later in the frame, Broncos forward Kole Gable broke out on a two-on-one with Graham down the left wing. The 18-year old found Graham with a cross-ice pass and he made no mistake by redirecting his second of the game to tie the score 3-3.
Burman was steady in the Broncos’ net, stopping 24 straight shots, including a major glove save along the goal line midway through the third period that led to video review but ultimately the save stood.
After much physical play and scoring chances traded by both clubs, Hurricanes’ Bellerive scored the go-ahead goal late in the final two minutes of regulation as his shot from the left wing boards snuck by the stick side of Burman.
The Broncos generated a couple scoring chances with the extra attacker but ended up dropping a 4-3 decision to the Hurricanes.
Shots on goal were 43-25 in favour of Lethbridge. Swift Current went 2/4 on the man advantage while Lethbridge finished 1/7.
Swift Current wraps up their three-game road trip on Saturday night against the Kootenay ICE at Western Financial Place.