Estevan, Sask. – The Swift Current Broncos jumped out to a 2-0 lead after one period of play Tuesday night, but the Regina Pats scored four unanswered as the Broncos fell 4-2 at Affinity Place in Estevan.
The game had a slow start as neither team was able to establish control in the opening 10 minutes. A strong forecheck lead to the opening goal of the game. Luke Mistelbacher held the Pats in their own zone and forced the puck down to the corner for Maddix McCagherty.
McCagherty then centred from the goal line to the slot and Ty Hurley fired a low shot past the glove of Koen MacInnes to give the Broncos a 1-0 lead 13:46 into the game.
Just 1:40 later, Grayson Burzynski pinched from the left point and stepped around a Pats defender before sliding the puck to Brady Birnie at the bottom of the left circle. Birnie looked at the net and found just enough daylight over the shoulder of MacInnes to fire home his third goal of the pre-season, extending the Broncos lead to 2-0.
Joey Rocha made his finest stop of the game late in the opening period after a blocked shot landed on the stick of Jacob Brook, but Rocha was able to spot it through traffic and stretch out to his right, denying the Pats forward of a goal.
The shots read 15-11 Swift Current as the Broncos took the 2-0 lead into the first intermission.
The momentum of the game shifted after an open ice hit by Corbin Vaughan on Sam Ward. Ward made his way to the bench and Kayden Sadhra-Kang came to the defence of his defence partner as he and Vaughan we given game misconducts. Sadhra-Kang received an extra two-minute penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct, sending Regina to the power play.
While the Pats didn’t score on the man advantage, they gained momentum from it and cut into the Broncos lead shortly after it expired.
Regina began throwing pucks on goal from all angles, and a goal mouth scramble resulted in Corban Almen backhanding a shot over Rocha to cut the Broncos lead in half 7:34 into the second period.
Two minutes later, Easton Armstrong was given a five-minute major for hitting Birnie from behind, sending the Broncos to a lengthy power play. Swift Current also made a goaltending change, putting Berney Weston in net as the power play began.
Just 13 seconds into the power play it was Connor Bedard scoring on a shot from the left circle to pull Regina even at two. The Broncos had a tough time sustaining pressure on the five-minute major and were unable to capitalize to regain the lead.
The Pats received a power play late in the second period that carried over into the third, and they would take their first lead of the game in the opening minute of the third period.
Bedard wound up for a one timer from the mid-point that sailed through traffic, passed a screened Weston to give Regina a 3-2 lead.
The Broncos were limited to just six shots in the third period, but came close on a pair of occasions on a short breakaway for Karson King and a cross-crease play for Raphael Pelletier, but were unable to tie the game before Regina scored in the final two minutes to take the game 4-2.
The Broncos are back in action Friday when they host the Medicine Hat Tigers.