Tristen Nielsen scored in the eighth round of the shootout as the Calgary Hitmen beat the Swift Current Broncos 3-2 on Saturday night.
The Hitmen erased a 2-1 deficit in the third period to prevent Swift Current from going perfect on their three game Alberta road swing.
“We looked a little tired,” said Broncos associate coach Ryan Smith. “Three in four days on the road travelling up and down the highways isn't easy, but everyone does that in this league. It's not an excuse it's just a fact. We got a point 5 out of 6 on the road. We defended when we needed to defend and our goals against is going down which is good.”
The Hitmen held Swift Current to only 23 shots on net through overtime in a game where the Broncos probably shot almost twice that many towards the Calgary goal.
“They did a good job boxing us out,” Smith said. “Getting sticks on pucks and really pushing our guys to the limit even to get a shot.”
Ryley Lindgren put the Broncos up 1-0 in the first and 2-1 in the second in his first multi-goal effort since joining Swift Current at the trade deadline. He now has 9 points over a 6 game point streak.
“He shoots the puck hard both goals,” Smith said. “Nice to see him score a couple. I think we're going to see him get better as it gets deeper in the season.”
Calgary tied the game midway through the third period on a Brady Reagan 4 on 3 power play goal. The Hitmen went 1 for 4 on the man advantage, while Swift Current went 0 for 3. The Broncos went a combined 0 for 9 in their last two games.
“In the second period we had real good control and a couple good looks,” Smith said. “First period (Glenn Gawdin) hits Lindgren's foot in front it would have been an open net. We did some good things, we had some good looks but we need a goal. In these tight games they've got to come through. We had enough opportunities to score tonight we just didn't put it in the back of the net.”
Swift Current continues to play a strong defensive game as they've allowed only 7 goals in their last 5 games.
“It's been a big focus of ours,” Smith said. “Preparing the guys to win one-goal games and to keep the goals against down. This trip we had one five-on-five goal against in three games. We gave up a few on the power play again, but all-in-all real good from our blueline down.”
Kyle Dumba stopped 21 Swift Current shots to earn the win. Jordan Papirny made 30 saves in the Broncos' net.
Swift Current is now off until Wednesday when they host the CHL's top ranked team from Regina. They then welcome Medicine Hat on Friday and Everett on Saturday in a week full of games against top teams.