Nagel Makes ECHL Debut

Just two days after his WHL career came to a close Saturday in Moose Jaw, now-former Swift Current Broncos captain Tanner Nagel made his debut in the ECHL Monday night.

A mere matter of minutes after Saturday's season finale ended for the Broncos, Nagel's agent, Nic Mayne announced on Twitter that the product of Mossbank would be joining the Utah Grizzlies. 

Nagel was held off the stat sheet in his debut, as the Grizzlies were edged 4-3 by the Rapid City Rush.

The terms of the signing are unknown, and come after the 6-foot, 200-pound forward wrapped up his WHL career with a career-high 13 goals and 23 points with the Broncos this season.

Nagel's journey south of the border reunites him with former Broncos teammate, and WHL champion, Josh Anderson.

Anderson has a goal and five points in 47 games with Utah in his rookie season.

The Utah Grizzlies are fifth in the ECHL's Western Conference with a 33-22-4-4 record.

Nagel, Anderson, and the Grizzlies are back in action Friday, as they head out on the road to Texas to take on the Allen Americans.

One more win would clinch a spot in the playoffs.

Raiders Shut Broncos Out Again

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The Swift Current Broncos hit a wall against the league leading Prince Albert Raiders this week.

After a 6-0 loss in Prince Albert on Tuesday, the Broncos fell 8-0 tonight in another visit to PA.

Ian Scott made 14 saves for the Raiders as he reached a franchise high seventh shutout this season. Isaac Poulter made 40 saves for the Broncos in a losing cause.

14 different Raiders had points as the scoring was spread throughout their lineup.

Prince Albert pulled ahead 4-0 in the first period and kept control throughout the game.

The loss extended Swift Current's losing skid to 16 games. The Broncos wrap up seven games in 12 days by visiting Saskatoon tomorrow night.

We'll have the game live on The Eagle 94.1 FM with Robertson Family Group Broncos Hockey at 6:30pm.

Broncos Season Wraps in Emotional Finale

There may be many new faces and they may be in very different parts of their cycles, but the rilvalry between the Swift Current Broncos and Moose Jaw Warriors is alive and well.

Swift Current's season ended with a physical battle after the buzzer with their heated rivals.

Up 5-0 in the dying seconds of the game, Moose Jaw defenceman Daemon Hunt launched a long shot at the Swift Current net when the final horn sounded. The goal ended up counting and the Broncos took exception.

A scrap started between Broncos defenceman Matthew Stanley and Warriors captain Josh Brook. It boiled over further as Tristan Langan fought Ethan O'Rourke and the two benches exchanged words.



"They stuck together even at the end there," said Broncos assistant coach Brandin Cote. "They hung in with each other and they didn't back off. One thing I told them was just respect the game. I can't say I haven't been in this situation... but we probably wouldn't be throwing out our top line every second shift. That's their prerogative."

O'Rourke, Langan and Kjell Kjemus all received game misconducts. Brook received a double minor for spearing.

Lagan's three points in the game moved him into a tie for the WHL points lead with Joachim Blichfeld of the Portland Winterhawks.

The game started on a reasonably even note with a scoreless first period. Moose Jaw pulled ahead with goals to both open and close the second period. The Warriors pulled away with four goals in the third period to secure their 40th win of the season.

Swift Current finished the season with only 11 wins and won only once in their final 21 games. Those results were not a big surprise for a team that traded away so many assets in pursuit of their WHL Championship last season. The Broncos have remained focused on a rebuilding process of acquiring future assets and giving their young players opportunity.



"A lot of guys improved this year," Cote said. "The older guys led in the right way. We just got to take all the learning experience and positives into the off season to work  hard and be better next year."

The game was also the end of Tanner Nagel, Matthew Sanley and Riley Lamb's junior careerse. The three overage players on the Swift Current roster graduated from the league after making significant contributions on multiple teams. Nagel and Stanley both went out scrapping as Stanley got involved in the physical battle at the end of the game, while Nagel had a spirited tilt with Jett Woo early in the third period.



"They've been great," Cote said. "They just work. They do things the right way in terms of the preparation. They're good team guys and character people. They'll be successful in whatever they do in life... those are good role models to have for our young guys."

Moose Jaw advances on to a first round series against Saskatoon on Friday, while the Broncos will clean out their lockers and start their off-season.

The next important date for Swift Current is likely May's WHL Bantam Draft. The Broncos have two picks in the first round and Head Coach/Director of Hockey Operations Dean Brockman missed their final three games this week to continue scouting for that draft.

Poulter's First Shutout Snaps Broncos Losing Skid

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Isaac Poulter stopped 33 shots for his first career WHL shutout as the Swift Current Broncos beat Regina 2-0.

The win snapped an 18 game losing streak for the Broncos and was a strong bounce-back performance after Swift Current's worst stretch of the season.

"It feels really nice," Poulter said. "A puck came across the street right at the end and I batted it away. (Ethan O'Rouke) rimmed it up and I saw the clock at 3. It was a pretty nice feeling knowing I got the shutout."



While the Broncos went through some significant struggles lately on a long road swing with games against top opponents, Poutler had given up 35 goals in his last five games. The rookie stayed positive and got back to his usual self with the win tonight.

"Just focusing on my game." Poutler said. "There's some stuff I can't control. Just making sure I'm taking it one shot at a time and not getting too far ahead of myself."

That effort didn't go unnoticed from the coaching staff who were happy to see it all come together for Poulter.

"It's awesome for him," said Broncos assistant coach Brandin Cote. "He's a pretty popular kid in the room. He works his butt off every day and he has the right attitude. To see him get back on the winning track late in the season is going to be great for his confidence... it's been tough. This league is very difficult on young goaltenders and young teams. We're real happy for him to battle back and get the shutout tonight."

Coming off losing their last four games to Prince Albert and Saskatoon by wide margins, tonight's win in Regina puts them back on the right track before a season ending home-and-home with Moose Jaw.

"We wanted to have the mentality of kind of a clean slate for the last week," Cote noted. "So it's a good start for sure and hopefully we can carry that into the weekend."



The game started with a pretty slow pace and limited scoring chances. Midway through the first period the Broncos struck first when Ethan Regnier set Joona Kiviniemi off the rush for a quick snap shot behind Max Paddock for his team leading 16th of the season. It was another example of how the rookie Finn can make a difference at any time in the game with his shot.

"Can't have enough," Cote said. "(Scott Dutertre) has really been working on Kivi on getting his release off a little quicker and more power into it. A lot of guys have improved that way. We just have to have that shot mentality and getting guys to the net... Kivi is one guy who has really taken off from the start of the season until now and he's a really big part of our future."

The second period had a lot more pace to it as the teams combined for 32 shots and both goalies were tested.

That momentum slowed in the third period as the Pats pushed to tie the game. Poulter held his ground and Swift Current put the game away with O'Rourke's late power play goal.

Head Coach/Director of Hockey Operations Dean Brockman was away scouting so Swift Current's win was Cote's first WHL coaching victory.

"It's never about the coaches but it's about the players," Cote said. "Obviously for myself that's what I aspire to be is a head coach in the league at some point. It's a good start. Hopefully Dean is having a good time in Penticton doing some work getting some propsects in the draft because that's going to be important. Scott is a huge part of it. We did it as a team tonight."



The Broncos went 1 for 4 on the power play and killed all three Regina opportunities on the man advantage.

Paddock made 31 saves for the Pats in a losing cause.

Swift Current prospect Dawson Springer played his second career WHL game after his Prince Albert Mintos were eliminated in the Midget AAA playoffs.

The Broncos wrap up their season with a home-and-home against the Warriors that starts on Friday in Swift Current. They will have a nearly $5000 guaranteed 50/50 and several other give aways for the fans as the Broncos look to make a final impression on their crowd.

"We owe it to our fans for sure," Cote said. "They've stuck by us all season long. They deserve to have us send them off on a good note. The guys will be ready. We just want to go in with that attitude we have nothing to lose and we can play our hearts out for the last couple games."

The Broncos will also hand out their year-end team awards during the game on Friday.

Broncos Still Can't Solve Raiders

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Three games in six days against the WHL's top team wasn't kind to the rebuilding Swift Current Broncos.

They fell 6-0, 8-0 and 6-0 to the Prince Albert Raiders with a loss in Saskatoon mixed in yesterday.

Now a very difficult stretch of eight games in thirteen days is in the rear-view mirror as the Broncos start their last week of the season.

"We've had some struggles the last while there's no question about that," "We've played some pretty good teams lately in a short amount of time... we've got to be consistent. We did some good things early, but it's just learning that this is the bar. I know I coached these guys a couple years ago. Their young guys were in the same position our young guys are in now. They took some licks, they learned from it and they're in a position to win now."

The schedule wasn't kind to the Broncos who were playing three games in three days while the Blades had Friday off and the Raiders were resting on Saturday. Either way seeing the way those teams are playing in March is a lesson they can learn from.

"These are teams that are getting ready for a playoff push and you can't take a shift off," Cote noted.

The Broncos had their chances in the first period with four power played and a 56 second 5 on 3. They had some good looks and chances, but couldn't solve Ian Scott. Prince Albert and their veteran netminder were able to shut the Broncos out all three times they met in the last six days.

Riley Lamb made 51 saves for the Broncos in a losing cause and faced over 100 shots between his starts against the Blades and Raiders in the last two days.

Brett Leason and Parker Kelly led the way with three point games for the Raiders. They sit on top of the WHL standings with 53 wins.

Swift Current has three games left on their schedule as they look to snap an 18 game losing skid. The Broncos visit Regina on Wednesday before playing a home-and-home with the Moose Jaw Warriors on the weekend.

"Just continue to learn," Cote said. "Work every day... we only have a couple practices left, a couple games... we want to try and get a couple wins. It's just business as usual. Continue to learn and continue to work right to the end."

The Broncos got some unfortunate news today besides the loss. 2018 third round bantam draft pick Fin Williams announced on Twitter he is committing to play for the University of Michigan in the NCAA. Williams is wrapping up his 15-year-old season in the CSSHL and has yet to start his junior career.

Broncos Wrap Up Tough Road Swing in Saskatoon

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One of the most difficult road swings in recent history is now in the books for the Swift Current Broncos.

A 6-1 loss in Saskatoon tonight marked the end of seven straight games on the road over a twelve day span.

The Broncos have dropped all seven games on the trip and five of those losses were at least five goal deficits.

"Remember how this feels," said Broncos Coach/Director of Hockey Operations Dean Brockman before the game. "When you're working out in the summer, when you're thinking that you've done enough for that day... can you push it that much harder? It doesn't feel good when you're getting beat the way we're getting beat. So when you're training this summer maybe you should realize that I have to train a little bit harder. You have to realize the Western Hockey League is a tough league to play it. Remember that it's a grind. Those are lessons you can't teach. You have to experience it. I'm confident our group will learn from that."

After playing mostly hard fought games this season, the rebuilding Broncos have found more consistently tough results during a seventeen game losing streak over the last month and a half. With only four games left in the 2018-2019 schedule lot of things are catching up to them.

"I see a lot of guys that are worn out," Brockman noted during the pre-game. "Guys that are playing in positions they shouldn't be whether it's older guys or younger guys. It does take its toll. If you're a third line guy playing first line minutes it doesn't help. If you're a guy that was used sparingly in the previous year and are now playing big minutes against the best guys in the league it wears on you. When you don't have success it wears on you mentally. Mentally and physically we feel like we're exhausted, but you have to fight through it. The league is not easy. It's not forgiving... as coaches we have to make sure these lessons are being learned."

The first period saw both the Blades and Broncos struggle to find an offensive spark. It was scoreless with only eleven combined shots as the teams hit the intermission.

Saskatoon found their stride in the second period as Tristen Robins struck on a Blades power play. It took only 51 seconds after that for Kristian Roykas Marthinsen to deflect in a point shot and give Saskatoon a 2-0 edge.

The Blades then put the game out of reach when Ryan Hughes scored in both the last minute of the second period and first miute of the third. Dawson Davidson and Kirby Dach rounded out the scoring for Saskatoon.

Matthew Culling scored the lone goal of the game for the Broncos on a third period deflection of Austin Herron's point shot.

Riley Lamb made 41 saves for the Broncos in a losing cause, while Dorin Luding made 16 saves to take the victory for Saskatoon.

Matthew Stanley received misconducts in both the second and third periods as he looked to indicate fights and couldn't find a willing dance partner. Tyler Lees did have a brief scrap with Zach Huber.

Saskatoon extended their win streak to six games and have the WHL's best record since December 1st.

Swift Current is finally back on home ice Sunday afternoon as they play their third game in six days against the Prince Albert Raiders. It is the second last Broncos home game of the season.

Listen to Robertson Family Group Broncos Hockey at 3:30pm with puck drop just after 4pm at the Innovation Credit Union iPlex.

Former Broncos Captain Capitalizes in Milestone Night

It was a special night for former Swift Current Broncos captain and Maple Creek product Zack Smith.

The former Bronco, Midget AAA Legionnaire, and Bantam AA Bronco standout suited up in his 600th career regular season game in the NHL last night.

Smith made the most of the milestone, burying the Ottawa Senators' third goal in a 5-4 shootout loss to the New York Islanders. 

Smith is into his tenth NHL season, and has 188 points (93 G, 95 A) over his 600 career games. Smith also has nine points over 45 playoff contests.

The southwest Sask star was drafted in the third round (56th overall) of the 2003 WHL Bantam draft by the Broncos, and went on to suit up in 242 total WHL games, amassing 122 points. That included 70 in 72 games as the captain in the 2007-08 season.

Smith was also drafted in the third round (79th overall) of the 2008 NHL draft by the Senators, and has played in the nation's capital ever since, aside from a stint in Denmark during a lockout in the 2012-13 season.

Raiders Hold Broncos off the Board in Tuesday Tilt

Ian Scott stopped all 24 Swift Current shots as the Prince Albert Raiders locked up top spot in the WHL regular season standings with a 6-0 win over the Broncos. 

The Raiders scored in bunches with two quick goals midway through the first period and three more in 2:20 midway through the second period.

The rest of the game was pretty even with a good pace despite the lopsided result.

Riley Lamb made 33 saves for the Broncos including a terrific glove save on Cole Fonstad.

Justin Nachbaur scored twice for the Raiders.

The Broncos were without Owen Blocker who joined Alex Moar as Swift Current players whose seasons have been ended by upper body injuries.

Swift Current went 0 for 3 on the power play, while holding Prince Albert to 0 for 2.

The Broncos will try and snap a fifteen game losing skid back in PA on Friday.

Broncos' Top Rookie Back from Injury, Looking to Finish Season Strong

Swift Current Broncos rookie forward Ben King made his return to the lineup over the weekend after missing two months recovering from an upper body injury.

After suffering the injury in a January 5 game against the Regina Pats, King returned in a Friday loss to the Kootenay ICE and Saturday OT loss to Medicine Hat.

"It felt good to get back on the ice. Two months off, it's kind of hard watching, but it was good (Friday) to get back out there."

It didn't take long for the rookie to get back to his usual ways, recording an assist on a crucial third goal against Kootenay in Game 1 back in the lineup.

King says making somewhat of a seamless transition back on the bench can be attributed to the hard work he put in off the ice while sidelined with the injury.

"This league's hard, especially to come back from an injury, so I wanted to be ready," said the 16-year-old forward. "I thought I did a not bad job of that."

Prior to his injury, King was among the top rookie offensive threats in the WHL.

He was ranked in eighth place in rookie points back in late December. Flash forward to early February, and King's strong start still hold up in the rookie ranks.

Despite playing in just 41 games this season, the Vernon, BC-born King is T-20th in WHL rookie scoring with 24 points (5 G, 19 A). Those 19 assists rank T-11 among first-years around the league.

Perhaps more of a telling stat is his T-13 points-per-game average of 0.59.

Meanwhile on the Broncos' roster, the youngest forward is T-4 in points, T-3 in assists, and tops in points-per-game.

With the final seven games of the Broncos' season spread over the next 12 days, the time is now for King and the young team to set a strong tone to carry into the offseason and the 2019-20 regular season.

"Just push myself every shift, be the best I can, get a good summer in, and be ready for next year," King said of his continued goal.

The seventh-last game goes tonight as King and the Broncos are in the "Gateway to the North" taking on the Prince Albert Raiders.

Catch all the action between the Broncos and Raiders live on the eagle 94.1 for Robertson Family Group Broncos hockey, with pregame set for 6:30 p.m.

Broncos Come Close in OT Loss to Tigers

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There have been some hard lessons for this season's Swift Current Broncos on how tough it is to win in the WHL.

Tonight was another example of that for their young, rebuilding roster.

Up 2-1 for most of the second and third periods, the Broncos saw an end to their long losing streak slip away thanks to a last minute Medicine Hat goal.

Linus Nassen tied the game on a point shot that deflected off a Bronco and Ryan Chyzowski ended it in overtime as the Tigers beat Swift Current 3-2.

"It was pretty good for the most part," said Broncos assistant coach Brandin Cote. "They had some zone time, but (Riley Lamb) played really well. We had some good opportunities too. It's unfortunate we couldn't get one on the power play it's always a turning point in the game. Penalty kill has been better the last couple games so that's good to see it's coming back around. You know just a seeing eye shot at the end. It's tough when you get to the point where you're a minute away from getting a hard earned win on the road... but there's lots of positives to take out of it."



It was a hard fought game for a Broncos team at the end of a four game road swing through the Central Division over five days. They saved maybe their best effort for the last leg of the trip against a desperate Tigers club battling for their playoff lives.

"The response was good," Cote said. "The energy in the dressing room was as much as we've seen in a long time which is great to see. We know there is something left in the tank emotionally and physically for these guys... they have to push themselves just to continue to improve and progress. We don't have many games left as a group so hopefully we can just keep putting our best foot forward effort wise."

Riley Lamb was terrific stopping 46 of 49 Medicine Hat shots in a losing cause. He has stopped 90 of 95 Tigers shots in two starts against them this season.

The Broncos got a strong game out of the line of Ethan Regnier, Tanner Nagel and Joona Kiviniemi. Regnier opened the scoring and set up Nagel's early second period go-ahead-goal, while Kiviniemi had assists on both.



Swift Current got on the board at 13:24 of the first period when Kiviniemi stole the puck from Nassen and made a spin move to set up a great shot by Regnier.

It took less than a minute for the Tigers to tie it up as Nick McCarry converted one of his many good chances on the night for a 1-1 game.

Nagel's goal came early in the second period as the three forwards fought to win a puck battle in the corner of the Medicine Hat zone. Regnier then set Nagel up for a quick snap shot and the captain's 13th of the season.

The lead would hold through an entertaining period that saw both teams get shut down during 5 on 3 power plays.

Medicine Hat had their chances in the third, but Swift Current was doing a good job keeping those opportunities to the outside for the most part. The best Bronc s chance of the period may have come when Kiviniemi was set to break in on a 2 on 1 before being tripped in the neutral zone.

The tying goal game with goaltender Mads Sogaard on the bench and minor penalties to both teams setting up a 5 on 4 situation.

Chyzowski's winner featured a bit of unfortunate luck for the Broncos as well. A bank pass was out of his reach, but Carter Chorney lost his footing and that gave Chyzowski a second chance at the  puck which he would then snap by Lamb for his 22nd of the season.

The win snapped Medicine Hat's seven game losing skid and moved them three points up on Brandon for the final playoff spot in the WHL Eastern Conference.

Swift Current's losing streak is now up to 14 games with seven left to play. They face the WHL leading Prince Albert Raiders three times in a six day stretch coming up. The Broncos are in Prince Albert on Tuesday and Friday. They will visit the Blades next Saturday and then host Prince Albert that Sunday afternoon.

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