The Swift Current Broncos and Moose Jaw Warriors renewed an East Division rivalry as they began Round One of the 2017 WHL Playoffs on Friday night at Mosaic Place. Tyler Steenbergen scored the opening goal midway through the second period and it proved to be the difference maker as the Broncos skated away to a 2-0 shutout victory to claim Game 1.
Both clubs came out with nerves in the opening frame as scoring chances were limited but both goaltenders Zach Sawchenko of the Warriors and Jordan Papirny of the Broncos combined for 22 saves to keep the game scoreless through 20 minutes.
The game remained to be a tightly contested tilt up to the midway point of the second period and it still remained a 0-0 tie. The Broncos would finally break through as Tyler Steenbergen ripped a shot from the high slot by Sawchenko to give Swift Current a 1-0 lead.
The Broncos killed off a big penalty with less than seven minutes to go in the second period when Steenbergen took a hooking penalty and they held that 1-0 advantage heading into the final frame.
Moose Jaw applied the pressure in the third period, generating scoring chances and cycling the puck deep in Broncos territory but Papirny was sound and continued to play his game.
Sawchenko was pulled with 1:30 remaining in regulation and the Warriors created a couple scoring chances but Papirny was clutch in making the key stops. Broncos captain Glenn Gawdin tacked on an empty netter with 12 seconds remaining in regulation to seal the 2-0 victory against Moose Jaw.
Papirny finished the night with a 40 save performance to collect his second career playoff shutout and the Broncos carry a 1-0 advantage in the series.
Shots on goal were 40-33 in favour of Swift Current. The Warriors went 0/1 on the power play while the Broncos did not see a man advantage in the game.
Swift Current looks to extend its series lead when they clash with the Warriors on Saturday, March 25th for Game 2 at Mosaic Place. Puck drop is set for 7:00pm.