The Swift Current Broncos (25-23-1-2) played a pretty solid game against the Winnipeg ICE (41-7-1-0) Wednesday night, but a 7:55 stretch in the second period saw Winnipeg score five goals as the Broncos fell 5-3 at the Wayne Fleming Arena.
Swift Current came out of the gate strong in the first period, outshooting the ICE 14-6 and generating multiple high-quality scoring chances. The team did just about everything but score as the two teams went into the intermission scoreless.
The Broncos carried over their strong first period to begin the second, opening the scoring 1:13 into the middle frame.
Connor Hvidston sent the puck to the front of the net from the right-wing corner and it was picked up by Caleb Wyrostok. He didn’t have any room to jam the puck on goal, so he went behind the ICE net and wrapped the puck in past the right pad of Daniel Hauser, giving the Broncos a 1-0 lead.
Exactly five minutes later Winniepg’s offensive outburst began. It started with a goal-mouth scramble and Owen Pederson jamming in a loose puck, tying the game at one.
Off the next faceoff, the ICE jumped on a turnover in the Broncos zone and Zachary Benson raced toward a loose puck behind the net. Without even looking, Benson backhanded the puck in front for Matthew Savoie who fired it in, giving the ICE a 2-1 lead with two goals in 22 seconds.
The Broncos went to the power play shortly after the goal and quickly tied the game. Sam McGinley was hauled down in the corner of the Winnipeg zone, but Josh Filmon picked up the loose puck and centred for Hvidston who tapped in his 15th goal of the year to tie the game.
It didn’t stay tied for long as the ICE then scored three goals in 3:37 to take a 5-2 lead. The first was Ben Zloty on a one timer from the left circle to restore Winnipeg’s lead. Just over a minute later, a shot from the blue line found its way through traffic and squeaked through the pads of Reid Dyck. Evan Friesen jumped on the loose puck in the crease to make it 4-2.
Joey Rocha came into the Broncos net following the goal, but 2:20 later Josh Medernach scored on another goal-mouth scramble to make it 5-2. Winnipeg took the lead into the second intermission, outshooting the Broncos 20-7 in the middle frame.
The third period was a much better one for Swift Current as they regrouped and had a strong pushback. That was capitalized by Hvidston scoring a shorthanded goal for the second game in a row, cutting Winnipeg’s lead to 5-3 with 11:05 remaining.
The Broncos survived two Winnipeg power plays late in regulation and would pull Rocha for the extra attacker, but couldn’t cut into the lead any further as the game ended 5-3.
Swift Current now returns home to begin a three-game homestand against the Brandon Wheat Kings (21-23-7-0) Saturday night.