Glenn Gawdin scored his first WHL hat trick as the Swift Current Broncos beat the Saskatoon Blades 5-4 in overtime for their first win of the 2017 calendar year.
Artyom Minulin scored the winner in extra time deflecting in a nice pass from Lane Pederson for his 7th of the season.
“Happy with the two points but a little dissatisfied with the overall effort and approach to the game,” said Broncos associate coach Ryan Smith. “Anytime you get a win you don't want to be too negative, but we've got a lot to work on after this game.”
The Broncos had 2-0 and 4-2 leads that Saskatoon was able to erase in the second and third periods.
“I think our turnovers,” Smith said. “Our puck management was pretty poor in the first time we let them back in the game. I think that's just feeling like it was going to be a game that we were going to win 7-0 and that was never going to happen. Our guys thought like that, turned the puck over and inopportune times and gave them the momentum.”
Despite some concerns it was a home-and-home sweep of the Blades that moves Swift Current into a tie with Moose Jaw for 2nd place in the WHL East Division.
Gawdin pulled his team ahead 2-0 in the first period with two goals in one shift both top shelf on Logan Flodell. Was he feeling it on this day?
“Maybe a little,” Gawdin said. “I think my linemates were getting me the puck at the right time. They kind of made it easy for me. The puck just seemed to find the net. Hopefully that can happen for me more often.”
Gawdin is now up to 12 goals on the season and has 7 points in 7 games since coming back from almost two months on the injured list.
“He was really good in all areas,” Smith said. “He had a good stick on the 4 on 3, he won some draws and he scored the goals. All goals were hard shots. He was one of our top guys tonight. He's been really good since he got back.”
Conner Chaulk extended Swift Current's lead to 4-2 early in the third period with his 4th of the season. Saskatoon responded right away as Braylon Shmyr struck back 39 seconds later.
The Blades outshot Swift Current 17-5 in the period and Jesse Shynkaruk tied the game with a one-time on the power play.
“We let our foot off the gas a little bit,” Gawdin said. “Kind of sat on the lead. I think for us that's the adversity we have to get over. We won the game and that's a good thing for us.”
Saskatoon had a late power play that carried over into a 4-3 in overtime. The Broncos held them off and were able to pull off the overtime win.
“That was a huge penalty kill for us,” Gawdin. “Everybody I thought was on the same page. We just shifted the right ways, kind of reading off each other and limiting their space and time to make them do something they shouldn't do.”
Swift Current has been to overtime 13 times this season. That ties them with Moose Jaw for the most overtime appearances in the WHL.
Travis Child made 38 saves to earn the win for the Broncos.
Swift Current was without forward Calvin Spencer and defenceman Dom Schmiemann. Broncos coach Manny Viveiros indicated they would both likely be short term injuries.
They host Lethbridge on Tuesday to start a four game home stand.