David Zammit

Swift Current Broncos victorious on road trip

(photo by Darwin Knelson)

The Swift Current Broncos spent the weekend away from home ice for a full three days of games in Calgary, Red Deer, and finally in Edmonton. They return home with two wins and one loss with a total of four out of a possible six points.

The first game was Friday, December 8th in Calgary when they took on the Hitmen. With Aleksi Heponiemi, Tyler Steenbergen, and Beck Malenstyn out with injuries, the Broncos were basically down a first line. Logan Flodell started in net. The visiting Swift Current team took on former Bronco players Conner Chaulk, Riley Stotts, and Dom Schmiemann. All three former Swift Current players made quite an impact in Friday’s game. Conner Chaulk earned two goals and four shots on net while Riley Stotts notched one goal and two shots on net. Schmiemann didn’t earn any points, but his one shot on net and presence on the ice made a statement against his former team.

Calgary opened the scoring in the first period to take an early 1-0 lead. The second period saw some penalties, but only the Hitmen would capitalize and the score was 2-0 going into the final frame. It was during the third period that we saw a complete breakdown of the Swift Current team in spite of the opening goal by Glenn Gawdin. The Hitmen banged home four more goals throughout the final 20 minutes to win against the Broncos with a 6-1 score.

You can read more about the game here.

On Saturday, December 9th, the Swift Current Broncos shook off the night before as they visited Red Deer to take on the Rebels. Steenbergen and Heponiemi remained sidelined and Joel Hofer took over the blue paint. Ben King, who was recently called up by Swift Current, made his debut against Red Deer. Swift Current fans had an early scare as Matteo Gennaro made his way through the tunnel after taking a shot to the leg. To the relief of the Broncos and their fans, he returned a few minutes later.

Red Deer opened the scoring in the first period, but the Broncos fought back and Gawdin tied the game to end the first 20 minutes. The second period saw a plethora of penalties that would confuse the most diligent hockey fans. Kaden Elder and Colby Sissons started off the parade to the penalty box that gave Red Deer an early 5-on-3. Among the parade were interference infractions, fighting, unsportsmanlike conduct, roughing, slashing, and high-sticking. Out of all those power plays, the Rebels were the only ones that would capitalize, giving them the lead, 2-1 heading into the final period.

In the final 20 minutes, with Swift Current on the penalty kill, Red Deer would again capitalize and tie the game to force overtime. And overtime is when the real magic happened as Max Patterson buried the overtime winner and led the visiting team to their first win during the road trip with a score of 3-2.

You can read the DubNetwork recap here.

Sunday, December 10th, in the late afternoon, the Broncos stepped on the ice to face the Oil Kings in Edmonton for the last game of the weekend. Steenbergen was still out, but Heponiemi returned along with Flodell. Ben King made an impact early, almost netting his first WHL goal, but he couldn’t quite squeak it past Travis Child, the former Swift Current goalie who manned the Oil Kings net. Not long afterwards, Gennaro would put the Broncos on the board with an early goal. Seconds later, Kole Gable would double up for a 2-0 lead.

(photo by Marko Ditkun)

Just over five minutes into the middle frame, Broncos captain, Glenn Gawdin would score on the power play and give the visiting team a comfortable 3-0 lead. And then goals just kept adding up as Gawdin would notch his second goal of the game and Colby Sissons would earn another for the Broncos, giving Swift Current a 5-0 lead heading into the final period.

Edmonton had absolutely no puck luck on Sunday as they almost scored on themselves to open the third period. Luckily, Travis Child was focused and stopped that from happening. Swift Current would find another first during the weekend as Quinton Waitzner potted his very first WHL goal to give the Broncos a 6-0 lead. The Oil Kings broke the shutout late in the final period to finalize the score at 6-1 for Swift Current.

There’s more on that game here.

After a successful weekend away, the Swift Current Broncos climbed the stats charts again as Glenn Gawdin is now tied with injured Tyler Steenbergen with 61 points and second place in points. Because of those goals, Gawdin now has 28 in 31 games this season and a total of 61 points, giving him an unbelievable points-per-game average of 1.97. Other notable players during the weekend included Kaden Elder with two points, Matteo Gennaro with four points, and Logan Flodell who made 42 saves on 43 shots Sunday night, earning a .977 save percentage in the final game of the weekend. In spite of the 6-1 blowout that the Broncos lost against the Calgary Hitmen, it was a successful weekend for the team.

Swift Current has three more games before the Christmas break and they will all be played at home. On Tuesday, the Broncos host the Prince Albert Raiders once again, Wednesday will see the Kelowna Rockets on Swift Current ice, and then the Kamloops Blazers will be in the small town on Saturday, December 16th.

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