Estephan nets overtime winner to notch hat trick in Game Two
A night after a close Game One victory, the Swift Current Broncos and Lethbridge Hurricanes got right back at it for Game Two and it was a close contest. Former Lethbridge Hurricane and now Swift Current Bronco forward Giorgio Estephan had a night to remember as he potted his second career WHL postseason hat trick in the most dramatic of ways, 4-3 in overtime.
Broncos captain Glenn Gawdin completed a swifty puck moving play near the Hurricanes goal to find Estephan on the back door, setting up his sixth goal of the postseason to give the Broncos an early 1-0 lead. The goal came on a power play opportunity and was scored 3:58 into the contest.
Less than a minute later, Estephan potted another marker when he along with Max Patterson executed a two-on-one to perfection. The former Lethbridge Hurricane scooped up a bouncing puck in opposition territory along the blue line and gained momentum for the two-on-one break sending a cross ice pass to Patterson who then sent it back to set up the goal.
In the second period, Jordy Bellerive got the visiting team on the board as his pass attempt bounced off a Bronco player and in the back of the net to cut the Swift Current lead to a single goal.
With 4:09 to go in the middle frame, Canes’ forward Dylan Cozens was awarded a penalty shot after getting tripped up by Colby Sissons. Cozens would score on his attempt to knot the game up 2-2.
Lethbridge would close the period out with a lead as forward Jadon Joseph crashed the net and lifted a bouncing puck over Skinner and in to put the Broncos down 3-2 through 40 minutes.
Aleksi Heponiemi netted his second goal in as many nights on a Broncos power play to tie the matchup 3-3. The Florida Panthers prospect displayed terrific patience to create open ice for himself, find a shooting lane and lift one over the glove side of Hurricanes’ netminder Logan Flodell.
Overtime was needed and just about halfway through the extra period, Broncos blue liner Sahvan Khaira made an outstanding pass to find Estephan on the doorstep by the Hurricanes crease and he simply redirected the puck in to complete the hat trick and win it for Swift Current 4-3.
Shots on goal were 39-33 in favour of Lethbridge. Swift Current’s power play clicked twice on five opportunities while the penalty kill was perfect, going 4/4 on the night.
With the victory, Swift Current holds a 2-0 series edge in the WHL Eastern Conference Championship. Game Three is slated for Tuesday, April 24th at the ENMAX Centre in Lethbridge with puck drop set for 7:00pm.