Tyler Steenbergen scored his 40th goal of the season as the Swift Current Broncos beat the Edmonton Oil Kings 3-2.
It was a battle of power plays as all five goals came on the man advantage.
“It was a back and forth kind of game,” said Broncos associate coach Ryan Smith. “Not a lot of chances for either team. Special teams were key. We had a couple kills at the end of the game when we needed them and it was an important two points.”
Aleksi Heponiemi and Steenbergen each scored once and had an assist. Heponiemi extended his point streak to twelve games on the night.
The Broncos took a 1-0 lead early in the second period as Kaden Elder converted a Ryley Lindgren rebound.
Shortly after that on an Edmonton power play, Oil Kings defenceman Will Warm was called for a charging major that knocked Broncos forward Lane Pederson out of the game. Lindgren responded immediately by decisively winning a fight with Warm and then filling in for Pederson at centre for the remainder of the night.
“That's why we make trades for guys like that,” Smith said. “A guy that can play right wing with these guys, centre with these guys, kill a penalty... it was the little things. (Lindgren) was real good on the draws in the third period and killed penalties.”
Lindgren ended up with two assists and now has five points in his last three games.
Artyom Minulin and Tyler Robertson also got kicked out after the hit on Pederson for being involved in the second fight after the whistle.
The teams then traded power play goals as Conner McDonald tied the game 1-1 with a point shot that deflected by Jordan Papirny. Swift Currenet took their lead back when Steenbergen converted a great Heponiemi pass for his 40th goal in 53 games this season.
“Keep going,” Smith said. “That's our message to him don't stop at 40 keep going. It's nice to see. Hopefully we can get some more guys up there.”
The teams traded goals again early in the third period as Artyom Baltruk tied the game on an early Oil Kings power play. Heponiemi converted a Steenbergen pass less than two minutes later.
Swift Current then played a tight, defensive game the rest of the way as the teams only had six shots each in the period.
“You want to lock it down,” Smith said. “You're on the road you don't want to give up too much. You want to make clean outs. We wanted to play the game out the proper way. I thought we did a good job from the back end. Our forwards realized we were down guys. They got pucks deep, shot it at the net and kept it simple.”
Papirny made 23 saves for his third straight win in Swift Current's net. Patrick Deal made 26 saves in a losing cause for Edmonton.
This was Swift Current's first win in Edmonton on seven years. It was also their first game at the new Rogers Place.
The Broncos could only keep pace with the teams in front of them and behind them in the WHL East Division standings.
The Brandon Wheat Kings and Moose Jaw Warriors finished a game that had been postponed earlier this season due to a malfunction that caused fog in Brandon. They completed that game and then played again in the same night with each team getting an overtime win.
The Warriors are now eight points up on Swift Current for second place in the division, while Brandon pulls to within five points of the Broncos in third.
In a statistical quirk Papirny was listed as the starter of the first Brandon/Moose Jaw game because the first half of that game took place when he was still a Wheat King. That meant Papirny was listed in the boxscore as the starter for two different teams in two different games on the same night.
The Broncos continue their Alberta road swing on Friday in Red Deer.