Broncos take control in third, beat Hitmen
It was a bit of an unusual game day for the Swift Current Broncos as they took on the Calgary Hitmen on Tuesday afternoon as part of Hockey Hooky Day in Alberta. The visiting Broncos played in front of 16,000 plus fans that consisted mostly of students from various schools from the city and used a balanced attack to beat the Hitmen by a score of 6-4.
The Calgary Hitmen would jump on the Broncos early on as goals from Jakob Stukel and ex-Bronco Riley Stotts saw the team trail 2-0.
Hard work in front of the Hitmen cage saw Broncos forward Mackenzie Wight get rewarded for his first goal of the season to cut the deficit to 2-1.
Before the first period ended though, Vladislav Yeryomenko blasted home a one-timer straight on from the point by Broncos goaltender Stuart Skinner to give Calgary it’s two-goal lead back.
Rookie goaltender Joel Hofer entered the game at the beginning of the middle frame in relief of Skinner.
Another first happened for a Swift Current skater as young rookie defenceman Jacson Alexander roofed his first career WHL goal after sneaking in from the point and lifting one over the shoulder of Hitmen goaltender Nick Schneider.
Arizona Coyotes prospect Tyler Steenbergen tied it up 3-3 as teammate Glenn Gawdin completed a pass from behind the net to a streaking Steenbergen who then lazered a perfect wrist shot. The goal came while the Broncos were on a penalty-kill and marks the third shorthanded goal for the club over its last two contests.
The shots on goal tally read 22-18 for Swift Current entering the third period in which the Broncos took control.
Gawdin parked himself on the doorstep of the Hitmen crease and buried a rebound opportunity off an initial slap shot from forward Giorgio Estephan.
Hitmen forward Carson Focht scored a shorthanded marker at the 12:06 mark to once again knot the game up 4-4.
However, Estephan knocked home his 28th goal of the season on a Broncos power play late in the game. That was followed up with a two-on-one break for the Broncos resulting in Heponiemi saucing a cross-ice pass to Beck Malenstyn for the insurance marker, effectively putting the game in the bank.
Shots on goal were 34-28 in favour of the Broncos. Swift Current’s power play was on fire yet again as it clicked twice on seven chances while Calgary wrapped up the afternoon going 1/7.
Swift Current returns for a three-game home stand, the first being against the Prince Albert Raiders for their eighth and final meeting of the regular season on Friday, March 2nd. Puck drop is at 7:00pm CT.