The Swift Current Broncos top line of Glenn Gawdin, Aleksi Heponiemi and Tyler Steenbergen were in full force Wednesday night as they combined for an astonishing 15 points in the Broncos big 8-3 win over the Kootenay ICE at the Credit Union i-Plex.
The ICE drew first blood on the power play as Jake Elmer scored to give Kootenay a 1-0 advantage. However, the Broncos top line got to work as Gawdin took advantage of a turnover deep in ICE territory, made a quick pass to Steenbergen by the ICE net who then completed a one touch pass to Heponiemi in the high slot for a Bronco goal.
Vince Loschiavo finished off an effective saucer pass from Colton Kroeker across the Broncos goal crease to restore the ICE lead at 2-1.
Ryan Graham then answered the call for the Broncos with his 13th of the year to knot this contest at 2-2 after one period of play.
The Broncos offence exploded in the latter portion of the second period with four goals in a span of 2:16. Steenbergen scored his 31st and 32nd to put Swift Current up 4-2, followed by Conner Chaulk skating hard to the net and getting awarded with his fifth goal of the season. Heponiemi would record the fourth goal with a laser wrist shot from the left faceoff dot off the rush.
Swift Current pounded Kootenay in the shots on goal department, outshooting the opposition 23-6 in the frame.
Kootenay would get a power play marker from Cale Fleury to cut the deficit to 6-3 but Gawdin netted a pair of goals in the third period to grow the Broncos lead to 6-3. The captain roofed the Broncos eighth goal of the night with a hard wrist shot over the blocker hand of ICE netminder Jakob Walter on a partial breakaway.
Steenbergen finished off a historic night with a career-high six points (2g-4a) to go along with a plus-6 rating and was named the game’s first star. Heponiemi also recorded a career-high in points with four (2g-3a) and a plus-6 rating as well while Gawdin wrapped up a strong game with four points (2g-2a).
The Broncos outshot the ICE by a final margin of 43-27. Swift Current went 0/3 on the man advantage while Kootenay capitalized twice on three opportunities.
The Broncos will now make a quick trip out west to take on the Medicine Hat Tigers on Friday, January 13th at the Canalta Centre. Puck drop is at 8:30pm CT.