Broncos Buck Cougars in Overtime

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Ty Edmonds 35 - Photo by Brett Cullen

In their first game home since losing a pair to the Everett Silvertips in the CN Centre last week, the Prince George Cougars were looking to build off the momentum they had on the road with a pair of wins in Seattle and Tri-City. Swift Current came into the game just two points behind the Regina Pats who led the Eastern Conference.

It didn’t take long for the Cougars to get their fans on their feet, as just 2:44 into the first period Shane Collins scored his second goal of the season. The celebrations were short lived though, as the Broncos power play struck just minutes later. It was Tyler Steenbergen scored on the man-advantage for his team leading eight goal of the year.

Just past the halfway mark of the period, Swift Current nearly took their first lead of the game as Sam Ruopp was unable to clear the puck, and the defenseman holding the puck in took a shot that was tipped in front, but stopped by the right toe of Ty Edmonds. Next it was the glove of Edmonds making an appearance, as Connor Chaulk stole the puck in the left corner, and fed it out front for Kaden Elder who was stopped by the Cats keeper.

With a late power play in their favour, the Cougars attempted to regain the lead heading to the second. Jared Bethune with a burst down the right side tried to tuck the puck in near side as he faked going around the net, and had a slap shot moments later stopped by Taz Burman to preserve the tie.

There was no rust for Burman in the second, as less than a minute in he stopped a breakaway on Justin Almeida. That would prove vital, as Swift Current was able to capitalize for their first lead of the evening just before the halfway mark. From behind the Prince George net, Aleksi Heponiemi fed Glenn Gawdin out front to make the score 2-1. For the second time of the night though the lead wouldn’t last long as Prince George was able to draw a penalty, a wrister from the blueline courtesy of Tate Olsen tied the score at two. Prince George would earn two quick chances to go up as a sharp angled shot off the right side from Brad Morrison rang off the post, and Brogan O’Brien led a two-on-one where his shot was kicked out by Burman.

With just over five to go in the second, Jesse Gabrielled netted his sixth goal in seven games as he toed dragged from the top of the left circle to the slot and clanged the puck off the left post before it found mesh. Swift Current nearly evened the score heading to the final frame as the Cougars turned the puck over, leading to a two-on-one Lane Pederson fed the puck over for Steenbergen, but the Sylvan Lake product was stopped on the doorstep by Edmonds.

In the third, it was Prince George looking to put things away as with just one second left in a power play, Justin Almeida was able to redeem himself from the failed breakaway in the second. Taking a pass from Jared Bethune, Almeida drove out from the right corner, and snapped a shot far side to make the score 4-2 with 13:08 left.

Swift Current started the comeback on the man-advantage as Artyom Minulin saucered a puck perfectly across ice and onto the stick of Lane Pederson who one timed a shot in to bring the game within one. Nearly a minute later the game was tied as a wonky shot off the right wing from Glenn Gawdin was bobbled by Edmonds, and wound up in front where Calvin Spencer Calvin Spencer scored his fourth of the season for the Bronco’s fourth goal of the night.

Each team would trade chances with late Cougars turnovers leading to Bronco opportunities for the visitors, but Edmonds was able to come up big to send the game to extra time.

Less than a minute into overtime, the man who started the scoring for Swift Current ended it. Cutting past a Cougars defenseman, Steenbergen was able to squeeze in a near side shot from his backhand to give the Broncos a victory.

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