Hoping the fourth time is the charm, the Swift Current Broncos will welcome the Central-leading Medicine Hat Tigers to the iPlex Friday night.
Having dropped their three previous meetings to the Tigers this season, Swift Current will be seeking their first win against Medicine Hat this season.
"Obviously these are statement games," said Broncos goalie Jordan Papirny, who stopped 43 of 45 shots in Wednesday's 2-0 loss to Regina.
"I think the schedule coming up gets pretty tough here. We just need to be ready to start right off the hop and we'll be just fine."
Like many teams in the WHL this season, the Broncos have had their share of struggles so far against Medicine Hat.
In their three previous meetings, the Tigers have defeated Swift Current 3-1, 5-4 (SO) and most recently, 7-3.
Medicine Hat has also put plenty of pucks on net in the three games, averaging 42 shots per game against Swift Current.
"We certainly consider Medicine Hat one of the top teams in the league with Regina and Everett," said Broncos Head Coach and Director of Player Personal Manny Viveiros.
"They're as good as anybody in the league. They are fast and play at a very high tempo and we have to be at our very best to try and get points away from these guys."
Friday night's contest against the Tigers will be the second of three straight games against division leaders for the Swift Current Broncos.
The Broncos dropped the first of the three games on Wednesday in a 2-0 loss to the Regina Pats, in a game that saw Swift Current hang with the top ranked team in the CHL.
"We certainly had enough good scoring chances to tie that game or earn a point Wednesday night," Viveiros said.
"That was very positive, especially missing some key players in our line-up too. It was good experience for some of our younger players."
Although Swift Current got off to a slow start against the East-leading Pats, the unanimous feeling in the building was that Papirny deserved a better fate than a 2-0 loss.
For the Broncos netminder, who they acquired from Brandon just prior to the trade deadline, it was just another strong performance as he has been seeing the puck really well of late.
Over his last five games, the 20-year old has posted 3-1-0-1 record, a 1.49 goals against average and a 0.949 save percentage.
Papirny doesn't take much credit for his recent success though, saying the entire team has been putting in the effort to keep the puck out of their net.
"We have been working on our d-zone in practice and everyone is great and asking questions," he said.
"There is a lot of grey areas in the d-zone, so once you make it simple and break it down, everyone understands it and everyone gets on the same page."
The netminder himself will be looking for a better performance than his most recent outing against the Tigers though.
Playing his first game as a Bronco on January 16th in Medicine Hat, Papirny surrendered four goals on nine shots before being pulled for Taz Burman.
Following Friday night's contest against the Tigers, the Broncos will quickly prepare for the U.S. Division leading Everett Silvertips on Saturday.
Puck drop between the Broncos and Tigers is set for 7:05pm from the Credit Union iPlex.
You can listen to the game live on The Eagle 94.1 FM with Robertson Family Group Broncos Hockey beginning at 6:30pm.