It was a tough weekend for the penalty kill to hit a snag.
The Swift Current Broncos gave up three power play goals in back-to-back games including a 6-1 loss to Calgary tonight.
A penalty kill that had been operating close to 80% over the last few months hit a rough patch and was a big factor in both tongiht's loss and last night's 4-2 decision against Moose Jaw.
"We had some bright spots in our game," said Broncos assistant coach Scott Dutertre. "Their power play worked extremely well for them. We did a good job preparing and going over what we needed to take away from them... and we just didn't execute tonight."
Moose Jaw and Calgary also have the second and third best power plays in the league. Both teams showed why in their games here this weekend.
The first period had a good pace to it and finished 2-1 in Calgary's favour. The Hitmen jumped ahead on goals by Luke Coleman and rookie defenceman Devan Klassen.
Swift Current was able to answer with Joona Kiviniemi's team leading 15th goal of the season on their power play. Kivniemi jumped on the rebound of a Carter Chorney shot as the Broncos went 3 for 6 on the man advantage this weekend.
Kiviniemi has 7 points in his last 11 games, while defenceman Connor Horning picked up another assist and has 11 points in his last 13 games.
The game got away from the Broncos in the early stages of the second period when Calgary scored twice on a Kye Buchanan double minor for high sticking. Former Bronco Kaden Elder converted a nice James Malm pass for his 24th and 22 seconds later Ryder Korczak quickly scored after Carson Focht hit him in the slot with a shot attempt.
Swift Current had some good looks later in the second period on their power play and had some great chances shortly after, but a 4-1 lead after the second period was enough for Calgary to maintain full control in the third.
"Tonight I thought we had some spots where we worked hard," Dutertre noted. "But there were some other times where our effort wasn't quite there. We just have to keep reminding them they're more then they think they are. We have to play hard every night."
Isaac Poulter made a spectacular glove save on Focht early in the third period, but couldn't hold the Hitmen back as they added two late goals from Jackson van de Leest and Malm. Poulter made 35 saves in a losing cause, while Jack McNaughton made 22 saves on 23 Swift Current shots to earn the win.
The Broncos were still without Ben King, Owen Blocker and Alex Moar due to injury, while Calgary was missing four regulars due to injury or suspension.
Next action for the 10-42-3-2 and are in the midst of a ten game losing skid. They now start a string of seven consecutive games on the road including a four-game Alberta road swing next week. The trip includes two morning games in front of school kids on Tuesday in Edmonton and on Wednesday in Calgary.
The Broncos honoured parents and billets with a ceremony before tonight's game.
- Category: Swift Current Broncos
- Written by Shawn Mullin