Broncos pull even with Moose Jaw atop WHL’s East Division
It was a crucial game for the Swift Current Broncos to get, and the boys were up to the task, doubling up the Moose Jaw Warriors 4-2 to earn their 11th straight win on home ice. Swift Current presently sits tied for first in the WHL’s East Division standings.
Aleksi Heponiemi got things going as he buried his 26th marker of the season, placing a perfect wrist shot in the top corner from the back of the right faceoff dot in Warriors territory. Broncos blue liner Artyom Minulin faked a slap shot and made the pass to the Florida Panthers prospect, setting up the goal.
Swift Current netminder Stuart Skinner was outstanding early on as he made 15 saves in the opening period. The Warriors did get a weird goal as Tanner Jeannot buried his 36th in what appeared to be a puck that was covered in the crease but got lost in the shuffle.
In the second period, the tension between these two clubs was mounting and it showed as the Broncos’ Tanner Nagel and the Warriors’ Dmitri Zaitsev each landed two minute minors for roughing.
Max Patterson scored an absolute beauty as he went forehand backhand on Warriors goaltender Brody Willms to restore Swift Current’s one-goal lead 2-1. 20-year-old Giorgio Estephan got the assist on the goal.
At the 7:07 mark, Beck Malenstyn completed a nice play from Glenn Gawdin to score a shorthanded goal and give Swift Current a 3-1 lead. The Bronco captain raced behind the Warriors net and sauced a little centering backhand pass to the Washington Capitals prospect who made no mistake.
The Warriors ended up scoring on that same power play as forward Jayden Halbgewachs tipped in his WHL leading 57th goal of the season, cutting the margin to 3-2.
Colby Sissons roofed in a late Bronco goal when Swift Current was on a man advantage and that haulted any chance of the Warriors coming back.
Skinner was consistent all night, making several big saves to total 37 and earn his 100th career victory in the WHL.
Shots on goal were 39-25 in favour of Moose Jaw. The Broncos power play clicked twice on four chances while the Warriors went 2/6 on the night.
The Broncos will hit the road for one last multiple game road trip this season, heading to Alberta to battle the Red Deer Rebels, Edmonton Oil Kings and Calgary Hitmen. The first opponent is the Rebels on Saturday, February 24th with puck drop slated for 8:30pm CT.