Gawdin and Hofer shine, Broncos win Season Opener
The Swift Current Broncos played spoiler to kick start the 2017-18 regular season, scoring four unanswered goals in the third period to knock off the Saskatoon Blades 5-2 Friday night.
Caleb Fantillo opened the scoring for Saskatoon after one-timing a shot through traffic from the point at the 13:46 mark of the first period.
Glenn Gawdin scored the Broncos first goal of the 2017-18 campaign to tie the game 1-1 less than a minute into the second period. The Swift Current captain tucked one in by goaltender Ryan Kubic just feet away from the Blades crease with blue liner Sahvan Khaira setting him up.
Brady Goethals restored Saskatoon’s one goal lead as he jammed a loose puck by Broncos goaltender Joel Hofer to make it a 2-1 game.
The Broncos were down a goal after 40 minutes but their knack for third period comebacks as they displayed so many times last season arrived just in time on this night.
Sophomore forward Riley Stotts lifted a backhander over the shoulder of Blades netminder Ryan Kubic to tie the game 2-2. Stotts’ linemate Tyler Steenbergen completed a terrific pass down the left wing to find a streaking Stotts towards the front of the Blades crease.
At the 12:21 mark, Kaden Elder intercepted a Blades pass deep in Saskatoon territory and centered a pass to 20-year-old forward Conner Chaulk who made no mistake potting it home to give Swift Current their first lead of the night 3-2.
In the final two plus minutes of regulation, the Blades pulled Kubic for the extra attacker but Swift Current iced the game, collecting a pair of unassisted empty netters from Gawdin and blue liner Artyom Minulin.
Hofer was steady in his WHL debut, backstopping 23 shots to earn his first career victory.
Shots on goal were 34-25 in favour of Swift Current. The Broncos power play went 0/1 while the Blades went scoreless on two power play tries.
Next up for the Broncos is a quick trip east to take on the defending Eastern Conference Champion Regina Pats on Wednesday, September 27th. Puck drop is set for 7:00pm CT.