CALGARY, AB – The Swift Current Broncos (9-27-1-2) played a strong third period against the Calgary Hitmen (21-13-4-1) Sunday afternoon, but a three-goal deficit proved too deep a hole to climb out of in a 3-1 loss on the road.
A scoreless first period saw the Hitmen outshoot the Broncos 16-8, but Isaiah DiLaura, making his first start as a Bronco, stood tall turning aside all 16 shots he faced.
The most difficult was a shorthanded break for Josh Prokop late in the frame, but DiLaura shut the door to keep the game scoreless through 20 minutes.
After a strong power play with extended zone time early in the second period, the Broncos would concede the opening goal of the game.
Jett Woo skated down the right wing boards before sending a bullet pass across the slot for Orca Wiesblatt who leaned into a one timer, just squeaking it past DiLaura to open the scoring.
The Hitmen added to their lead when Blake Allen shoveled a puck under DiLaura’s glove off the rush after taking a pass while heading to the front of the net.
Calgary’s offensive explosion finished when Connor Gabruch found a loose puck in the slot after a sharp-angle shot during a goal-mouth scramble hit the post, capping off a span of three goals in 5:03 for the Hitmen.
D-Jay Jerome had a great chance to get the Broncos on the board late in the second when he was awarded a penalty shot, but he ran out of room trying to out wait Brayden Peters as the puck rolled through Peters’ legs but was stopped by the back leg and the Broncos trailed 3-0 heading into the third.
Jaxan Kaluski eventually got the Broncos on the board in the third, taking a pass from the below the goal line after Tyler Smithis stole the puck behind the net and Kaluski fired a one timer over Peters’ glove for his 11th of the season, and fifth in his past five games.
That was as close as the Broncos would come however, despite an even third period in which the shots were 10 each, Peters shut the door the rest of the way to preserve the win.
The two teams meet again Wednesday night at the Innovation Credit Union iPlex.