Rivalry renewed, Broncos edged by Pats in playoff preview

Keith Hershmiller

Playoff fever was in the air as the Swift Current Broncos visited the Regina Pats at the Brandt Centre for their final regular season road game of the year. The Broncos and Pats certainly displayed grit and intensity throughout the night as Swift Current ultimately fell short by a 3-2 score in overtime, but the end result clinched a first round playoff matchup between these two East Division rivals.

The opening period was all about the young goaltenders on both squads as Broncos rookie goalie Joel Hofer turned aside nine shots while the Pats’ Max Paddock blocked all 14 Swift Current shots.

Matteo Gennaro has continued his productive season on the score sheet for the Broncos, burying his 42nd of the season on an early man advantage in the second period. Giorgio Estephan and Artyom Minulin drew the assists.

Shortly after the goal, Broncos forward Andrew Fyten took a five-minute major for checking from behind and the Pats’ Cale Fleury drew two minutes for cross checking. The two teams played some four-on-four and then emotions continued to come out as the Broncos’ Sahvan Khaira and the Pats’ Brady Pouteau dropped the gloves and received five minutes each for fighting.

Pats captain Sam Steel scored from the inside hash mark to tie the game up 1-1 at the 5:12 mark.

Then Jared Legien drove the net and zipped one through the five-hole of Hofer to put the Pats ahead 2-1.

Penalties continued to mount in the third period as the Broncos’ Noah King and the Pats’ Scott Mahovlich went toe-to-toe in a tilt.

The Broncos would see lengthy power play time after a spearing penalty from Jake Leschyshyn just over a minute later. Artyom Minulin made them pay as he stepped into a good hard wrist shot from the top of the point to knot this war 2-2.

Overtime was needed and the Pats won it courtesy of a Nick Henry goal 2:49 into the extra frame.

Shots on goal were 33-32 in favour of Swift Current. The Broncos scored both their goals on the power play over eight opportunities while the Pats finished 1/4.

These two will meet again on Saturday, March 17th at the Innovation Credit Union i-Plex for Fan Appreciation Night presented by Safeway Canada. Puck drop is at 7:00pm.

Game Summary

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