T-Birds outlast Broncos in lengthy shootout

Brian Liesse

Swift Current made a pit stop at the ShoWare Centre in the middle of a three-in-three set to faceoff against the Seattle Thunderbirds and it was an all-out war from start to finish.

Broncos captain Glenn Gawdin put his team on the board just 1:17 from opening faceoff, netting his 37th of the season on a breakaway chance.

Seattle forward Nolan Volcan scored from in close on a Thunderbirds power play to draw even 1-1 and send the teddy bears flying as it was Teddy Bear Toss night at the ShoWare Center.

Sami Moilanen gave the Thunderbirds a 2-1 lead as he went bar down on Broncos goaltender Joel Hofer on a two-on-one rush. Moilanen kept the puck throughout the whole rush but Owen Williams and Donovan Neuls drew assists.

Colby Sissons continued his recent run of piling up the stat sheet, firing a rocket from the high slot for his 11th of the season. Aleksi Heponiemi got the assist on the goal to extend his WHL leading point streak to 27 games.

The second period was all Seattle as they outscored Swift CurrentĀ 4-1 and outshot them 15-3 in the frame. Neuls scored 1:30 into the second period as he skated towards the left faceoff circle and rifled a high wrist shot by the glove hand of Hofer.

That was followed by goals from Matthew Wedman and Zach AndrusiakĀ to grow the hole to 5-2.

When Swift Current received their first power play of the night, Giorgio Estephan smacked home his 21st goal of the year to pull the Broncos within two.

But 40 seconds later, T-Birds forward Noah Philp rised a backhander over Hofer from in close to double up the Seattle lead to 6-3.

In the third, Broncos forward Tyler Steenbergen busted out a mini goal scoring slump, tucking home a nifty backhander from in close by T-Birds goaltender Dorrin Luding at the 6:29 mark.

Jarret Tyszka received a penalty for high sticking shortly after the goal. The Broncos power play immediately went to work on the ensuing faceoff as Gawdin and Heponiemi whipped the puck around, eventually setting up Estephan for his second goal of the night.

The score was 6-5 and stayed that way for the duration of the period until the final couple of minutes in regulation. Hofer was pulled for the extra attacker and the Broncos rallied back to tie it 6-6 as Washington Capitals prospect banged in a loose puck in the crease area. Heponiemi and Steenbergen each drew their third assists of the night.

The Broncos pumped 17 shots on goal compared to only five for Seattle in the period, leading to some three-on-three overtime. That solved nothing so a shootout was needed and my oh my, it was a dandy.

It was tied after three round as the Broncos’ Steenberger and the T-Birds’ Neuls both found the back of the net. Fast forward all the way to the eighth round, the T-Birds’ Turner Ottenbreit scored while the Broncos’ Andrew Fyten was stopped, ending this wacky entertaining matchup.

Shots on goal were 37-32 in favour of Seattle. Swift Current went 2/3 on the power play while Seattle finished 2/5.

The Broncos have a quick turnaround on Sunday afternoon when they head up north to take on the Everett Silvertips. Puck drop is at 6:05pm CT.

Game Summary

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