Back-to-back shorthanded goals in the third period lifted the Brandon Wheat Kings to a 5-4 win over the Swift Current Broncos tonight.
The Broncos had a 3-1 lead after the first period and weren't able to hang on.
“I was pretty disappointed in the entire game,” said Broncos associate coach Ryan Smith. “We had some spurts where we were OK, but they deserved to win. They were the better team they worked harder. We didn't work hard enough.”
Tanner Kaspick and Tyler Coulter scored shorthanded goals 3:26 apart in the third period to break a 3-3 tie. The Broncos had only given up four shorthanded goals in total before tonight's game.
“You give up two shorthanded goes on laziness and not working hard,” Smith said. “That's nothing to do with systems it's all about work ethic tonight. Just the will. They had more than us. We just weren't there tonight. We were just playing we weren't really into it. It was disappointing.”
The power play went 1 for 5 on the night and struck out in the third period with the game still up for grabs. That doesn't mean the Broncos felt good about their game to that point.
“We're trying to create something that's not there,” Smith said. “I think the game was lost then with those goals, but the game got away from us before that. That's a few games in a row now where we've let in five goals or four goals. That's on our goalie too he wasn't very good let's be honest. There weren't many guys in white that were playing at the top of their game.”
Travis Child took the loss in goal with 5 goals allowed on 33 shots. Logan Thompson made 30 saves to earn the win for Brandon.
Swift Current got two goals from Tyler Steenbergen, a goal and an assist from Glenn Gawdin and a goal and three assists for Lane Pederson. They started strong offensively but felt they let Thompson off the hook.
“We didn't get shots through,” Pederson said. “We had some early success and I think we had (goalie Logan Thompson) guessing. I think not getting shots through was doing him a favour.”
Swift Current had won seven of their previous eight games.
“We have some guys that have a real hard time with success on our team,” Smith said. “We don't know how to handle it. They can't string together two or three games. It's got to change. You've got to be able to have a swagger, but you've got to back it up.”
For Pederson it was a matter of not sticking to their systems.
“We deviated from the game plan,” Pederson said. “We started doing things on our own. We didn't do the small things, the little things that are necessary to win and it bit us in the butt a little bit. Up 3-1 in the first period good teams shut it down and are able to get a win. It's frustrating and we have to learn from this.”
The Broncos host Prince Albert on Saturday night and can expect some changes.
“We'll adjust the lineup,” Smith said. “We'll adjust the lineup. Those are things we have to adjust. The way we play and the systems are fine we've shown that throughout the year. We went up 3-1 and our guys thought it was game over. We had a chance tonight to give us a wider spread lead on these guys and they closed it. You sure hope it doesn't come back to bite us.”
They'll host a Raiders club that has struggled this season and traded away some key veteran talent. Despite a 5-0 record against Prince Albert this season the Broncos can expect the usual tight game.
“They're going to come in here and they're going to work hard,” Smith said. “Play like we played tonight and we'll be in trouble. We need an attitude adjustment. I know we've won a lot of games and it sounds like we're being hard on these guys, but that's what it's all about. We're heading into crunch time. Moose Jaw isn't letting up, Regina isn't letting up, the elite teams don't let up and we're not there yet.”
The Broncos had Artyom Minulin and Matthew Stanley back in the lineup tonight.
Swift Current sits 22-12-3-4 and are four points back of Moose Jaw for second place in the WHL East Division. The loss allowed Brandon to move to within nine points of the Broncos for third.
You can hear Saturday's game on The Eagle 94.1 FM with Robertson Family Group Broncos Hockey at 6:30pm. Puck drop is just after 7pm at the Credit Union iPlex.
Here's my video recap of tonight's loss. Full recap coming shortly pic.twitter.com/Ha0P0w2ch7— Shawn Mullin (@shawnmullin) January 7, 2017