It was déjà vu for the Swift Current Broncos as a late comeback against a division rival fell just short in the third period.
After cutting a 6-3 deficit to 6-5 against Regina on Friday, the Broncos came back from down 5-2 only to lost 5-4 in Moose Jaw on Saturday.
"I said it last night too," said Broncos forward Alec Zawatsky. "We've got to play a full sixty minutes to win a hockey game."
Down 4-1 and 5-2 in the third period, the Broncos kept coming and got back to within one on goals by Ethan Regnier and Max Patterson. The late push fell short after an Andrew Fyten penalty and Moose Jaw held on.
"A case of too little, too late," said Broncos assistant coach Scott Dutertre. "We had some guys that worked really hard tonight. We had a few guys who were passengers. Unfortunately with our club if we do that we're not going to end up on the winning side."
The plus side for Swift Current this weekend was a big step up offensively. After scoring only three times in their first four games, the Broncos scored a combined nine goals in their games on Friday and Saturday.
"I think we're starting to get the buy in from our players about getting some secondary pucks around the net," Dutertre said. "Our power play has done a pretty good job. We're not as afraid to pull the trigger from up top."
Zawatsky and Regnier both had a goal and an assist. Four points this weekend for Zawatsky have him up to six points on the season and within two of his total from all of last season with Saskatoon.
"I thought this week we improved a lot," he noted. "We're trying to funnel pucks to the net and get pucks behind their D. I think we're doing a better job of that. It's only uphill from here."
Connor Horning had the other goal for Swift Current on their power play. It went 1 for 4 on Saturday after going 3 for 5 on Friday.
Despite the positives on the offensive side, the Broncos still haven't been able to keep the puck out of their net. That will continue to be a focus after giving up 11 goals over two games on the weekend.
"We tend to get over extended," Dutertre said. "We run around a little bit and sometimes we over pursue where we need to be on the defensive side of things in our D-zone, we get running around. Last night and tonight that's probably been our achilles."
Ultimately it's a simple message going forward.
"We've got to be a hard working team to be successful," Zawatsky said. "The older guys have to show some leadership and some character and the young guys will follow."
Joel Hofer made 35 saves on 40 Moose Jaw shots. Adam Evanoff made 22 saves to get the win for the Warriors.
Tristin Langen led thew way for Moose Jaw with a natural hat trick. The Warriors jumped to 3-2-1-0, while the Broncos fell to 0-6-0-0. Swift Current is now off until Friday when they host Spokane in their last home game before a six game road swing.
It was also a notable night for former Broncos as both Glenn Gawdin and Matteo Gennaro scored their first professional goals in the American Hockey League.
Congrats to Glenn Gawdin who scored his first pro goal 🔥 pic.twitter.com/x9ep3V55PJ— Stockton Heat (@AHLHeat) October 7, 2018