It was Teddy Bear Toss night at the Credit Union i-Plex on Friday night as the Swift Current Broncos took on the Calgary Hitmen. Ryan Graham recorded three points (2g-1a) while Artyom Minulin scored the Teddy Bear goal in a big 5-1 win.
Things were physical from the get go as Broncos defenceman Matthew Stanley and Hitmen forward Andrew Fyten got in a tussle that landed each player five minute majors for fighting six minutes into the contest.
Shortly after, Matteo Gennaro scored the opening goal on the resulting power play for Calgary as the Broncos trailed 1-0 early on.
However, when the Broncos went on the power play after a high sticking penalty from Vladislav Yeryomenko, Russian import Artyom Minulin scored to tie the game at 1-1 at the 13:24 mark to spark the annual Teddy Bear Toss. All types of teddy bears, toques and mitts flooded the ice with fans tossing the items from the stands onto the ice in what was a frenzy. All items were collected and were donated to the Salvation Army to help those in need across various communities in southern Saskatchewan.
Kaden Elder put the Broncos up ahead 2-1 late in the frame with his fifth of the season. Ryan Graham and Lane Pederson collected the assists on the goal.
The Broncos offence exploded for three goals in the second period with goals coming from Tyler Steenbergen and a pair of goals from Graham coming four minutes apart from each other. Graham has been on fire since being acquired from the Saskatoon Blades in a mid-season trade, notching seven goals and 12 points to go along with a plus-6 rating in five games.
The third period demonstrated physicality from both clubs but the Broncos held the Hitmen scoreless the rest of the way in a 5-1 win. Goaltender Travis Child put in a solid performance with 27 saves to earn his eighth win of the campaign.
Shots on goal favoured Calgary 28-20. Swift Current went 1/4 on the power play while Calgary finished 1/3.