The Swift Current Broncos (28-29-1-2) outshot the Saskatoon Blades (43-13-4-1) 16-6 in the third period Wednesday night, but couldn’t find the tying goal before Saskatoon hit the empty net to seal a 5-3 win.
The Broncos fell behind early as the Blades scored just 1:26 after puck drop. Josh Pillar took a feed as the trailer off the rush and fired a shot past the blocker of Reid Dyck from between the circles, giving Saskatoon an early advantage.
Swift Current killed off the Blades lone power play of the first thanks to a flurry of saves by Dyck, including a huge stop on a rebound chance for Trevor Wong. The Blades took their 1-0 lead into the intermission with the shots 9-8 Broncos.
The Broncos ran into penalty trouble to start the second period. After killed off one Blades power play just 23 seconds into the middle frame, Swift Current went right back to the penalty kill 27 seconds after it expired.
On the ensuing power play, Jayden Wiens tipped in a shot from Aidan De La Gorgendiere to put Saskatoon ahead 2-0 3:57 into the second.
After the two teams played nearly two full minutes at four-on-four, and the Broncos had a brief nine-second power play, Saskatoon added to their lead. A turnover at the blue line saw Tanner Molendyk wind up for a long slap shot that snuck under the left pad of Dyck, giving Saskatoon a 3-0 lead 7:33 into the second period.
Swift Current got themselves on the board a few minutes later to cut into Saskatoon’s lead. Ethan Chadwick came out of his net to swing the puck around the boards, but put it right onto the tape of Braeden Lewis.
Lewis quickly sent the puck toward the net and it was deflected by Clarke Caswell over the blocker of Chadwick, giving the Broncos life at 3-1. A minute and a half later the Broncos capitalized on another turnover to make it a one-goal game.
Luke Mistelbacher intercepted a pass out of the Blades zone and slid the puck to Connor Hvidston on left wing. Hvidston skated toward the goal line before firing the puck across the crease for Josh Filmon who snapped it past the glove of Chadwick to get the Broncos within one with his 42nd of the season.
Swift Current continued to push for the remainder of the period, but it was Saskatoon who scored before the period was up. During a net-front scramble, Pillar found a loose puck and snuck it under the blocker of Dyck for his second of the game with just 17 seconds remaining in the period. The Blades took the 4-2 lead into the intermission.
After killing off a penalty to start the third period Swift Current went to their first full power play of the game. Just 38 seconds into the man advantage, Drew Englot pass the puck through the crease to Filmon who scored his second of the night, once again pulling the Broncos to within one.
Swift Current carried the majority of play for the remainder of the game, hemming the Blades in their own zone for extended periods. Dyck came up with two breakaway saves on Brandon Lisowsky and Egor Sidorov late in regulation to keep the Broncos comeback alive.
Dyck then went to the bench for the extra attacker with 1:20 left in regulation, but the Broncos sent a puck wide of the net that wrapped around the boards and out to centre for a 2-on-1 for Saskatoon. Sidorov sent it over to Lisowsky who had a breakaway on the empty net, sealing the Blades win.
Swift Current looks to rebound Friday night when they welcome the Moose Jaw Warriors (36-22-0-3) to the InnovationPlex.