Injuries and illness added up as the Swift Current Broncos battled through a tough game in Brandon on Family Day.
They managed 1-0 and 2-1 leads before the Wheat Kings came back to win 3-2 in overtime.
"We needed a triage unit by the end of the game there," said Broncos assistant coach Scott Dutertre. "We had a few guys with stomach issues... they had to leave the game... we ended up running a few short bodies at the end of the game."
Carter Chorney, Matthew Stanley and Owen Blocker all missed time during the game battling illness and defenceman Alex Moar was hurt midway through the third period. Playing with only four defencemen and a short bench up front did catch up with the Broncos some as Brandon was able to tie the game and push for the win. Swift Current held on and were able to earn a point by getting the game to overtime.
"We showed a lot of composure," Dutertre noted. "You get tired and all of a sudden your brain stops working too. I thought we did a good job being a little more conservative on our rush... I thought we were getting the puck out a little bit better in the third out of our d-zone than in the second. We showed a lot of grit and a lot of composure in or d-zone in the third."
Swift Current got off to a strong start in the first period limiting Brandon's attack to only nine shots and few scoring chances.
"It's what we've been trying to do take the middle of the ice away," Dutertre said. "I thought the shots they did get there was a lot from the outside. Our energy level was a lot better than what we had the other night."
The Broncos then took the early lead. Ian Briscoe took a hip check low, but he went to the net right after and deflected a Garrett Sambrook shot for his third goal of the season.
Brandon came on stronger in the second period and managed to tie the game as Jonny Hooker's third of the season. Swift Current responded just over a minute later on a great shot from Owen Blocker for his 5th. Both Broncos goals were scored by Manitoba born forwards.
It was late in the second period where the stomach bug really started to take a toll on the Broncos. In the third period the Broncos had to run with only four defencemen including Christian Riemer who has played most of the season at forward and 16-year-old Billy Sowa.
"(Riemer) and Billy Sowa they got thrown right in the fire and responded really well," Dutertre said. "They had really good energy and performed well for us tonight."
Isaac Poulter made 39 saves in his first start as a Bronco in his home province. Jiri Patera made stopped 12 of Swift Current's 14 shots to earn the win for Brandon.
Swift Current went 0 for 2 on the power play, while Brandon scored once on their three opportunities.
All three games between the Broncos and Wheat Kings in Brandon ended up in overtime as Swift Current earned four points over that stretch. They finished 2-2-1-1 against Brandon this season.
The win pulled the Wheat Kings to within two points of Red Deer for the final playoff spot in the WHL Eastern Conference.
Next action for the Broncos is Friday at home against Moose Jaw before they host Calgary on Saturday. Swift Current only has four home games remaining on their 2018-19 season schedule.