It was a homecoming for Winnipeg. MB native Riley Stotts as the Bronco rookie forward netted two goals Friday night, but his club couldn’t hang on as they dropped a tough 4-3 decision to the Brandon Wheat Kings.
Stotts opened the scoring early for the Broncos as he picked up a loose puck in front of the Brandon net and buried it to make it 1-0 Swift Current 3:14 into the period.
The Broncos were looking for more on the man advantage, but Wheat Kings’ forward Tanner Kaspick skated down the left wing and slapped home a shorthanded goal off the post and in to knot the game up at 1-1.
Brandon was putting the pressure on the Broncos in the first half of the second period but Bronco goaltender Travis Child made some key saves to keep the game tied and it led to Stotts scoring his second goal of the night. Stotts made a nice individual play in which he took the puck along the boards and made his way over to the slot before sniping one far side by Wheat Kings netminder Logan Thompson. Sahvan Khaira and Tyler Adams registered the assists on the goal.
In the third period, the Wheat Kings capitalized on their second power play opportunity of the game as Stelio Mattheos got the goal to once again tie the game.
The Broncos got their lead back quickly with a goal from Aleksi Heponiemi just 53 seconds later. Tyler Steenbergen found Heponiemi in the low slot with a pass from behind the net and Heponiemi one-timed it by Thompson to give Swift Current the 3-2 lead.
Brandon refused to quit as team captain Nolan Patrick snuck one in by the pad of Child in the final minute of regulation with the Wheat King net empty to once again tie the game 3-3.
Overtime solved nothing and a shootout was required to determine a winner. Patrick scored the lone goal in the shootout to complete Brandon’s comeback win with a 4-3 victory over Swift Current.
The Broncos failed to score on five power play opportunities while Brandon went 1/2 on the night. Shots on goal favoured the Wheat Kings 34-24.
Swift Current returns home for a Saturday night tilt with the Prince Albert Raiders at the Credit Union i-Plex at 7:00pm.