The Swift Current Broncos (28-31-1-3) played well enough to win Wednesday night, but a last-second goal in the second period by the Saskatoon Blades (45-14-4-1) stood up as the game winner in a 3-2 final score.
The Broncos started off strong as the Blades didn’t record their first shot on net until nearly halfway through the opening frame. That allowed Swift Current to take a 1-0 lead.
Josh Davies flew down the left wing, stepping through a check as he gained the Saskatoon line. Davies’s shot from the left circle was kicked away by Austin Elliott, but the rebound went off his pad, off Aidan De La Gorgendiere and into the net for Davies’s 18th of the season. Braeden Lewis and Mason Ward picked up assists on the goal.
After the Broncos nearly added to their lead on a Luke Mistelbacher shot that hit the post, the Blades would tie the game. Picking up a loose puck at centre, Saskatoon skated into the Broncos zone on a two-on-one.
Josh Pillar dropped the puck to Trevor Wong who fired a shot over the blocker of Joey Rocha, tying the game with 7:09 remaining in the first period.
Swift Current went to the power play for the final two minutes of the period, but weren’t able to regain their lead as the two teams went into the intermission tied at one with the shots 7-6 Swift Current.
The Blades took the lead early in the second period. Off a faceoff win, De La Gorgendiere’s shot from the left-wing boards floated through traffic and into the net, giving Saskatoon a 2-1 lead 2:49 into the period.
Swift Current had no shortage of opportunities to tie the game in the middle frame, none better than a two-on-one chance with Josh Filmon and Rylan Gould. Filmon skated down the left wing before sliding the puck across to Gould who leaned into a one timer, but Elliott read the play perfectly and moved to his left to make a glove save with no rebound.
With the two teams playing four-on-four to end the period, the Blades scored a last-second goal. Wong gained the Bronco line and then spotted Tanner Molendyk pinching in undetected and feeding him the puck.
Molendyk skated to the net before stopping at the top of the crease and beating Rocha over the right pad, putting the Blades up 3-1 with just six seconds remaining in the second period. Shots were tied at 15 after 40 minutes.
The Broncos quickly got the goal back to begin the third period. Owen Pickering dumped the puck into the Blades zone and Molendyk gloved it down, but turned it over to Filmon.
Filmon then skated into the right faceoff circle and backhanded a shot through the five hole of Elliott to cut the Saskatoon lead to 3-2 just 1:59 into the third period.
Swift Current would rack up 16 shots over the third period after combining for 15 over the first 40 minutes, but Elliott stood his ground to keep the Blades on top.
After pulling Rocha for the extra attacker, the Broncos poured on the pressure during the final minute of play, but were denied at every turn as the horn sounded on a 3-2 loss.
The Broncos hit the road for a pair of games against the Central-Division champion Red Deer Rebels (41-17-3-3) this weekend.
Announced attendance was 1,618.