The Swift Current Broncos (19-17-0-1) pulled to within one late in regulation against the Calgary Hitmen (22-12-3-1) Friday night, but Calgary scored shorthanded and on the power play following the goal, handing Swift Current a 6-3 loss.
Much like their game in Lethbridge on Wednesday, Caleb Wyrostok opened the scoring just over a minute into the game.
Connor Hvidston skated into the Hitmen zone down the left wing, getting all the way to the goal line before finding Wyrostok in the slot. He snapped a shot through the five hole of Ethan Buenaventura for his 13th of the season just 1:06 into the game.
The lead didn’t last long as the Hitmen pulled even four minutes later. Jacob Wright centred from below the goal line and Carter MacAdams tapped the puck past the blocker of Joey Rocha to tie the game 4:59 into the game.
Swift Current then received a lengthy five-on-three power play as the Hitmen were called for penalties just 24 seconds apart. A minute into the two-man advantage, Owen Pickering slid the puck across the high slot for Mathew Ward who one timed the puck past the blocker of Buenaventura to give Swift Current a 2-1 lead.
That lead stood for the remainder of the period, including through back-to-back Broncos penalty kills, as Swift Current took their 2-1 lead into the intermission.
Calgary pulled even just a minute into the second period. Oliver Tulk skated around the Broncos zone before sending the puck on net from the blue line. It deflected off a body and down to Carson Wetsch who turned and hooked the puck into the open net to tie the game just 1:02 into the second period.
Less than three minutes later, London Hoilett beat out an icing call before skating out from behind the Broncos net on his backhand. His shot ramped up off a stick and over the blocker of Rocha, giving Calgary a 3-2 lead.
After Josh Filmon hit the post on a cross-crease pass from Clarke Caswell, Calgary would add to their lead. An odd-man rush developed for the Hitmen developed immediately following that chance and Jacob Wright finished off the play to extend Calgary’s lead to 4-2.
Wyrostok then hit the post shorly after Wright’s goal, and the Broncos had three two-on-one rushes broken up by Hitmen defencemen as Calgary took the 4-2 lead into the second intermission. Shots were 19-7 Hitmen in the second period.
The Broncos got themselves back into the game in the second half of the third period. With Tyson Galloway in the box for interference, Brady Birnie scored from a sharp angle off a pass behind the net by Caswell, pulling to within one with 5:14 to go.
During the play, Braeden Lewis was crosschecked in the numbers by Wright, sending the Broncos back to the man advantage off the ensuing faceoff. Swift Current won the draw, but then mishandled the puck in their own zone.
The loose puck was picked up by Riley Fiddler-Schultz who skated into the slot and fired it past the glove of Rocha, immediately restoring Calgary’s two-goal lead just 10 seconds after the Broncos made it 4-3.
Once the Broncos power play expired, the Broncos went to their seventh penalty kill of the night and Calgary scored to make it 6-3 with 2:23 remaining, sealing the win.
Swift Current now heads home to prepare for their lone meeting with the Prince George Cougars (17-17-4-0) Saturday night.