The 2018 U.S. trip reached its final destination on Tuesday night with the Swift Current Broncos dueling the Spokane Chiefs. It was a hard-fought game but the Broncos lost by a score of 4-2 to wrap up the trip with a 2-2-0-1 record.
Chiefs forward Kailer Yamamoto opened the scoring 31 seconds from the opening faceoff, netting one from the slot area to make it 1-0 Spokane.
The Broncos dynamic power play got Swift on track as 20-year-old forward Giorgio Estephan took a nice long pass from Josh Anderson while in transition. The Edmonton, AB native zoomed down the right wing with the puck and wired a clapper blocker-high by Chiefs’ netminder Dawson Weatherill at the 16:39 mark.
Spokane blue liner Filip Kral floated one through traffic from the left point to restore the 2-1 lead less than a minute later. Shots were 10-5 for Spokane after 20 minutes of play.
Russian Import Artyom Minulin pulled an impressive individual move to sneak a nifty fore-hand back-hand shot by Weatherill. The goal arrived in the second period and had shades of Bobby Orr written all over it as the 19-year-old went hard to the net from a play that started when he got possession of the puck in the neutral zone.
Bad luck went the Broncos way towards the dying minutes of the middle frame. With a strong forecheck occurring in Chiefs territory, Josh Anderson attempted a one-timer from the point but his stick shattered in the process, leading to an odd-man rush for Spokane and they potted the go-ahead goal as Ethan McIndoe finished the play.
The third period flew by as it took 8:38 before the first stoppage of play occurred. Then another four plus minutes went by until the second stoppage, unfortunately that stoppage was because of a Chiefs goal from Kral once again.
A pair of Spokane penalties in the final two minutes gave Swift Current a six-on-three power play as Skinner was pulled but the Broncos could not draw close and went on to drop a 4-2 decision to the Chiefs.
Shots on goal were 30-25 in favour of Swift Current. The Broncos power play executed once on five opportunities while the penalty kill shutout the Chiefs five times on their man advantages.
Swift Current returns home in time to recover for their first game at the Innovation Credit Union i-Plex in two weeks, facing off against the Regina Pats on Saturday, January 27th at 2:30pm CT. Fans will want to arrive early as a special pre-game presentation is set to begin at 2:30pm sharp as the club will honour the 1993 WHL Champion Swift Current Broncos.