The Swift Current Broncos have been busy again in the early part of December. With a couple of trades and a few close games under their belts in the previous month, Swift Current seems to be making steps in the right direction during the rebuild.
This week, the Broncos were included in a couple of WHL trades. On December 3rd, the Swift Current team announced that they sent forward Max Patterson to the Everett Silvertips in exchange for prospect Dawson Springer (F) and a fourth round pick in 2020. Max Patterson was part of last season’s WHL Championship team and has made big strides again this season. Patterson played 72 regular season games with the Broncos last season and notched 24 points. This season, in 27 games, Patterson has already earned 19 points. He really stood out at training camp, and so far throughout the season his leadership skills, skating abilities, and skills have improved even more. He was an important part of the Swift Current Broncos WHL Championship win, playing 26 games and earning five goals and two assists. At only 18 years old, Patterson is sure to be an asset to the Silvertips in the coming months.
December 4th saw the departure of another important player from the Broncos WHL Championship roster, Noah King. The Broncos announced that, alongside King, they also traded away the rights to goalie Matthew Davis and a conditional 2021 bantam draft pick to the Spokane Chiefs in exchange for Carter Chorney (F), the rights to Kye Buchanan (F), and the rights to Devin Aubin (D). Last season, in 65 regular season games and 26 playoff games with Swift Current, Noah King, the imposing defenceman, earned one goal and five assists. He, like Patterson, has improved this season. In the first 25 games this season, King notched two goals and four assists. He has been noticeably bigger and stronger throughout the first few months this season and King will be a quality player for the Chiefs.
In their last 10 games, the Swift Current Broncos have had a few close calls, a couple of overtime games, and a couple of wins. Their third and fourth wins of the season came in November, both games were against the Edmonton Oil Kings. Throughout the entire month of November, there were very few blowouts and a lot of close games, where the Broncos displayed tenacity, determination, and the motivation to keep pushing against the opposition in spite of the score.
Their December 1st game at home against the Brandon Wheat Kings ended up in a 5-2 loss, but that says nothing about their ambition. Throughout almost the entire game, Swift Current kept up with the pace of the game and played with their hearts on their sleeves. But the last five minutes of the game, when the Wheat Kings scored three unanswered goals, proved that they needed a full 60-minute effort to stay alive.
On December 4th, the Broncos hosted the top-ranked Prince Albert Raiders. After losing two valuable players in the previous days, the Broncos could have let this game get away from them. But they didn’t. Swift Current opened the scoring even though Matthew Stanley left the game early with an injury, but the Raiders tied it up soon after. In spite of the effort by the Broncos to hold off the CHL leaders, Prince Albert scored halfway through the third period to take a 2-1 lead.
Because of the never-quit attitude, Swift Current came back late in the third to tie the game and force overtime. Nothing was solved in overtime, but it would be Ethan Regnier’s goal and Joel Hofer’s final stop in net during the shootout that won it for SC. Swift Current kept up with the Raiders, like a lot of other teams this season, but it was their determination to win that broke the Raiders 19-game win streak and beat the most powerful team in the CHL by a score of 3-2. Joel Hofer was the first star of the game with 52 saves in net to help his team earn the impressive win.
The Swift Current defense has been consistently good at holding the opposition at bay. Matthew Stanley and Garrett Sambrook have been a powerful pairing. But things might change without the strong defense of Noah King and Connor Horning. Dean Brockman is a master of mixing and matching the defensive pairings, so things could even out in the long run. One thing is for certain, with Joel Hofer and Isaac Poulter in net, the Broncos have a solid final chance on defense.
The Broncos next games are on Friday, December 7th in Calgary when they take on Kaden Elder and the Hitmen, and then Saturday, December 8th, they will be in Red Deer to play the Rebels.