Artyom Minulin capped off an entertaining East Divisional game between the Prince Albert Raiders and the host Swift Current Broncos, sliding in the overtime winner to deliver a 5-4 victory for Swift Current on Tuesday night.
Aleksi Heponiemi opened the scoring 3:31 into the game when the Broncos welcomed an early power play opportunity. Glenn Gawdin and Matteo Gennaro picked up the assists on the play.
Raiders forward Sean Montgomery responded less than a minute later, scoring his ninth of the season via one-timer from the slot to knot it at one goal apiece.
Rookie defenceman Connor Horning registered his second goal in three nights, this time burying a low wrist shot through traffic. The Broncos led 2-1 heading to the middle frame.
Swift Current came out slow in the second period as goals from the Raiders’ Jordy Stallard and Curtis Miske quickly placed the Broncos in a 3-2 deficit.
Sahvan Khaira wristed in a perfect shot from the right point to tie the game up 3-3 with only 10 seconds remaining in the second period. Shots were 29-24 for Swifty through 40 minutes of play.
Prince Albert would take the lead again midway through the third period. Montgomery entered the zone, skated around the Broncos net and found a pinching Brayden Pachal who tucked one by Broncos goaltender Joel Hofer, making it a 4-3 Raiders lead.
Gawdin capped off a perfect passing play from Gennaro and Heponiemi as the captain snuck in towards the Raider goal and smacked in his 24th to force a 4-4 tie and overtime was eventually needed.
In the extra frame, Gawdin located a pinching Artyom Minulin who slid it five-hole on Curtis Meger to send the Broncos players and crowd into a roaring frenzy.
Hofer picked up the win following a 35 save outing while Meger turned aside 44 shots in a losing cause.
Shots on goal were 49-39 in favour of the Swift Current Broncos. The Raiders went 0/2 on the power play while Swift Current finished the evening 1/3.
Heponiemi’s three point effort has pushed his point total to 69 (19g-50a) to lead all WHL skaters while Gawdin’s three point effort has the 20-year-old sitting third in league scoring with 56 points (24g-32a).
Next up for the Broncos is a three-game road swing out west in Alberta, beginning with a road game against the Calgary Hitmen on Friday, December 8th at 8:00pm CT.