The Swift Current Broncos (28-29-1-3) had a 3-0 lead after one period of play Friday night, but the Moose Jaw Warriors (37-22-0-3) rallied with three goals in the second before winning in a 12-round shootout at the InnovationPlex.
Swift Current had to weather an early storm by the Warriors as Moose Jaw quickly jumped out to a 5-0 advantage on the shot clock, but the Broncos were able to get through the early push without surrendering a goal.
That set the stage for Mathew Ward to open the scoring. After just missing on a breakaway chance, Ward took a centring pass from the goal line from Drew Englot and tapped the puck past the glove of Jackson Unger 7:43 into the game. Brady Birnie drew the second assist on Ward’s 23rd of the season.
After the Broncos got through their first penalty kill of the game, Englot added to the lead shortly afters stepping out of the box. Mason Ward worked the puck behind the Moose Jaw goal and Birnie quickly sent it to the blue paint.
It tipped off a Warriors stick and up into air before Englot batted it out of the air and into the net for his sixth goal of the season. Just 22 seconds after the goal the Broncos would make it 3-0.
Caleb Wyrostok skated into the Moose Jaw zone down the right wing but was quickly being closed in on by a defenceman to his left. Wyrostok dropped the puck behind him to Connor Hvidston who then slid the puck toward the net and Clarke Caswell tapped it into an open net for his ninth of the season.
Swift Current took the 3-0 lead into the first intermission, outshooting the Warriors 14-13.
The game remained 3-0 until late in the second period when the Warriors began their comeback. While playing four-on-four, Matthew Gallant toe dragged around a sliding Broncos defender to create a breakaway for himself before scoring his second goal of the year with 5:01 to go in the period.
The Broncos went to their first power play of the game with three minutes to go in the period, but it was the Warriors scoring shorthanded. Josh Hoekstra poked the puck away at the blue line and took off on a breakaway, cutting the Broncos lead to 3-2 with 1:26 to go in the period.
Moose Jaw then tied the game in the final minute when Atley Calvert banged in a loose puck at the top of the crease, sending the game into the second intermission tied at three. Shots were 29-28 Broncos after two.
Swift Current carried the majority of play in the third period, outshooting the Warriors 11-6 in the final frame. That included a power play chance for the Broncos with six minutes to go in regulation.
Overtime came and went with both teams creating multiple scoring chances, sending the game to a shootout.
Josh Davies scored in round two to give the Broncos their first chance to win, but Jagger Firkus scored in round three to extend it. The next 12 shooters were denied before Clarke Caswell put the Broncos ahead in round 10, but Martin Rysavy then scored to keep the Warriors alive.
After Sam McGinley and Ben Riche were stopped in round 11, Braeden Lewis was turned aside to start round 12. Hoekstra then scored to complete the comeback for Moose Jaw.
The Broncos look for the weekend split when they head to Moose Jaw Saturday night. You can catch the game on the Eagle 94.1 FM with Living Sky Casino Broncos Hockey starting at 6:30pm.
Announced attendance was 1.846.