Boston Pizza Recap: Broncos push late but drop 4-2 game to Thunderbirds

Brian Liesse

Kent, WA. The Swift Current Broncos (22-20-1-2) had a strong push in the third period, but a pair of late penalties ended the comeback attempt as the Seattle Thunderbirds (34-8-1-1) held on for a 4-2 win.

The Broncos came out strong Tuesday night, generating chances offensively in the opening minutes and forcing Seattle to take a hooking penalty just 2:12 after puck drop.

On the power play, Brady Birnie picked up a loose puck in the slot and fired it over the glove of Tomas Milic, scoring his 10th goal of the season to give the Broncos a 1-0 lead just 3:41 into the game. Owen Pickering and Caleb Wyrostok assisted on the goal.

The Thunderbirds started to push back as the period went along and tied the game up after forcing a turnover in the neutral zone. After a stick lift, Jeremy Hanzel poked the puck loose to Reid Schaefer who quickly bumped it to the middle of the ice for Jared Davidson.

Davidson skated into the Broncos zone on a breakaway and snapped a shot past the glove of Joey Rocha, tying the game at 9:49 of the first.

The Broncos had back-to-back power plays in the second half of the period, but the second one was cut short by a Swift Current penalty, sending the two teams to four on four.

As the four on four expired, Seattle was pressuring in the Broncos zone and had a brief power play. Kevin Korchinski got the puck at the blue line and skated down the slot before sending a low shot on net that was tipped by Lucas Ciona, giving Seattle a 2-1 lead heading into the intermission. Shots were 18-9 Thunderbirds after one.

The first of two second-period fights took place in the opening minute of the period as Drew Englot and Bryce Pickford dropped the gloves following a heavy hit by Englot.

The Thunderbirds added to their lead just over nine minutes into the period. Another neutral zone turnover saw Josh Fluker stripped of the puck to create three-on-one for Seattle. Ciona took a drop pass from Davidson and beat Rocha over the glove to give the Thunderbirds a 3-1 lead.

The second scrap of the period came late after Adam McNutt leveled Davidson with an open-ice hit. Nico Myatovic challenged McNutt and the two squared off with just over a minute to go in the period.

Reid Schaefer was called for tripping late in the period as Swift Current began the third on the power play, cutting into Seattle’s lead.

Connor Hvidston had the puck along the goal line and slid it toward the net. Mathew Ward got a stick on it, tipping it through the five hole of Milic to cut Seattle’s lead to 3-2 just 48 seconds into the period.

The Broncos pressure continued for the majority of the third period, generating zone time and chances on net looking to tie the game.

After killing off a penalty with 3:34 remaining in regulation, the Broncos were called for another penalty just seconds after Englot stepped out of the box, going back to the penalty kill. The Thunderbirds would score into the empty net, sealing the 4-2 win.

Swift Current’s next stop on the U.S. Division trip comes tomorrow night at the Toyota Center against the Tri-City Americans (23-16-4-1).

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