The Swift Current Broncos further solidified their playoff positioning on Tuesday night after a strong performance against the Brandon Wheat Kings in which Ryley Lindgren scored three times en route to a 5-2 Swift Current victory.
The 20-year-old Lindgren got the offence started for the Broncos by scoring his 20th of the season after picking up a loose puck in front of the Wheat Kings net and quickly firing it in. The goal had to be reviewed as it was in and out of the net within the blink of an eye but it stood and 1-0 was the score through 20 minutes.
Former Swift Current Bronco Kade Jensen netted his first goal as a Wheat King after snapping one by Broncos goaltender Jordan Papirny 47 seconds into the middle frame.
The game remained steady through the duration of the second period with both teams trading quality scoring chances combined with effective defensive plays. The Broncos eventually tallied the next goal as Ryley Lindgren and Riley Stotts combined to score a very pretty goal. Stotts skated down the left wing and completed a long saucer pass to Lindgren across the ice and the veteran forward completed a little forehand to backhand move before roofing it by Wheat Kings goaltender Logan Thompson.
Team captain Glenn Gawdin joined the party by firing home his 23rd of the season from the left wing on an odd man rush to make it 3-1 Broncos. Tyler Steenbergen and Artyom Minulin earned assists on the goal.
The third period saw Brandon score early just as they did in the period prior as Tyler Coulter deposited his 26th to cut the Broncos lead to 3-2.
Kaden Elder smacked in the Broncos fourth goal to restore their two-goal cushion over Brandon with seven minutes and change remaining in regulation.
Then Lindgren put it away as good puck movement from Steenbergen and Gawdin deep in Wheat Kings territory helped set up the hat trick goal. That marker proved to be the dagger as 5-2 was the final score for Swift Current.
Jordan Papirny turned aside 25 shots to pick up his second win this month against his former club. The Broncos remain in third place in the WHL’s East Division race with 74 points and are poised to clinch a trip to the 2017 WHL Playoffs.
Shots on goal were 32-27 in favour of Swift Current. The Wheat Kings went 0/2 on the power play while the Broncos finished 1/5.
The Broncos now head back on the road for three games, beginning with their fourth and final meeting of the season against the Red Deer Rebels at ENMAX Centrium on Saturday, March 4th. Puck drop is at 8:00pm CT.