The tide has turned this past week for the SC Broncos. They saw an acquisition, a departure, and two of their three wins this season.
On November 1st, the club announced the departure of reliable defenseman, Artyom Minulin. After much speculation, Minulin and an 8th round draft pick were traded to the Everett Silvertips in exchange for Alex Moar. In Everett, Minulin will be reunited with Sahvan Khaira. Both players were part of the WHL Championship team with the Swift Current Broncos last season. The trade solved two issues for Swift Current, the overage issue and the import issue. With Minulin gone, the Broncos are now down to three overagers and two import players. In return, the Broncos acquired Alex Moar, the 5-foot-8 defenseman who hails from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan and was drafted in the 5th round by the Everett Silvertips in 2016. He played only four games with the Silvertips before making his debut with the Broncos this past week.
After trading away another piece of the WHL winning team, the Broncos hosted the Lethbridge Hurricanes and donned special jerseys during their Bronco Strong night in honour of the Humboldt Broncos. The jerseys were created by former Swift Current Broncos captain, Taylor Vause, and they were auctioned off that evening to support Stars Air Ambulance and other charities. A total of over $28,000 was earned throughout the night.
At the beginning of the game, the Broncos clearly dominated play, but it was a battle of the goalies throughout the full 60 minutes. In spite of their dominant play, Swift Current was down 2-1 after the first period. The lone goal for the Broncos came from Max Patterson. Another pair of goals were scored during the middle period after a lot of back and forth play. The next Broncos goal came from Andrew Fyten with barely 10 seconds left in the period to keep Swift Current in the game. The intensity was amped up a notch in the third as Swift Current fought for their second win of the season. Ben King tied the game midway through the final 20 minutes, but Lethbridge got the go-ahead goal again soon after. The Broncos did not give up and with a mere second left in regulation, Connor Horning scored to force overtime. With a final score of 5-4 in overtime, Noah King buried the winning goal to get the monkey off their backs and take their second win of the season.
Noah King has really stepped up for the Broncos this season. Last season he earned five assists in 65 regular season games with Swift Current. In 16 games this season, he already has five points and has taken on a larger role on the team.
The following evening, the Broncos hosted the Edmonton Oil Kings. Even though Jacson Alexander returned to Swift Current, he was scratched in this game due to an injury. After a scoreless first period, Max Patterson came out of the gate in the second, putting Swift Current on the board. An unassisted goal by Ethan Regnier gave the home team a 2-0 edge, but the Oil Kings earned a power play goal to break the shutout. Alec Zawatsky, who now has 15 points in 17 games so far this season, reinstated the Broncos 2-goal lead, but the visitors closed the gap, 3-2 before the end of the period. Again, a 3-3 tie would force overtime for the second consecutive night at the Swift Current iPlex. 41 seconds into overtime, Andrew Fyten was the hometown hero and give the Broncos their third win of the season with a score of 4-3.
The Swift Current Broncos are now 3-14-0-1 after last weekend’s two wins in overtime. Many of the returning players have had to step up in the absence of power players from last season who have moved onto other teams.
At the beginning of the season, the Swift Current Broncos looked like single players on the ice, learning individually and playing a game of their own. But, as time goes on, they are starting to play a bit more consistently. When they’re down, they’re never really out. They come together and play cohesively to close the gaps in the score and, this week, have earned the wins. They continue to get perpetually better and are starting to earn some momentum. It was a tough start for Swift Current, but they continue to prove that they should not be discounted.
It was announced that the Swift Current Broncos signed Ian Briscoe to a standard player agreement. Briscoe was drafted in the 5th round in the 2014 bantam draft by the Seattle Thunderbirds. During his time in Seattle, Briscoe earned five points in 45 games with the WHL team before moving to Swift Current.
This week, the Broncos will travel to Prince Albert to take on the top-level Raiders and then onto Regina to play against the Pats before returning home for a special Remembrance Day game on November 11th.