SWIFT CURRENT, SK – The Swift Current Broncos (3-10-1-2) had the Moose Jaw Warriors (9-7-1-0) on their heels in the third period, but a too-many men penalty with the net empty sealed the Broncos fate in a 3-1 loss Saturday night.
A scoreless first period saw the Broncos outshoot the Warriors thanks to a power play in which the Broncos peppered Adam Evanoff, but the game was scoreless after 20 minutes.
Moose Jaw opened the scoring in the second on an unfortunate bounce. Tyler Smithies tried to fire the puck out to centre from the boards of his own end, but the puck went off the skate of a Warriors forechecker and deflected toward Isaac Poulter.
Brayden Tracey was starting to backcheck when the puck ended up right on his stick in front of the Broncos net, and he cut across the top of the crease to open the scoring 6:11 into the period.
The Broncos ran into some penalty trouble later in the period and found themselves down two men for 34 seconds. After Poulter made two big saves, Libor Zabransky was able to lift the third chance over Poulter’s right pad to extend Moose Jaw’s lead to 2-0 with 4:54 to play in the second.
The Broncos started to push back hard in the third and eventually cut into the Warriors lead. Off a face off win in the Moose Jaw zone, Chase Lacombe pinched in from the blue line and threw the puck on net.
It deflected off a Warriors defender and went through the legs of Evanoff for Lacombe’s first career WHL goal, and his first goal since he was a member of the Moose Jaw Generals during the 2017-18 season. The goal came at the 6:46 mark of the third.
Swift Current kept pushing, and nearly tied the game during 4-on-4 play late in the game. After Sergei Alkhimov was stopped coming down the slot, Evanoff was down but somehow managed to get his pad on Hayden Ostir’s backhander from the slot to keep Moose Jaw in the lead.
The Broncos pulled Poulter in the final minute, but some miscommunication at the bench led to a too-many men call and put the Broncos shorthanded with 45 seconds left. The Warriors would hit the empty net to take the game 3-1.
Swift Current now gets set to kick off a four-game home stand which begins next Saturday when they welcome the Warriors to the Innovation Credit Union iPlex.