It has been a long time coming for the Swift Current Broncos when it comes to postseason success as they have not won a playoff round since 2008 but fortunes were reversed on Monday night at Mosaic Place. The Broncos eliminated the Moose Jaw Warriors and advanced to Round Two of the WHL Playoffs after skating away to a 3-2 victory, winning the series four games to three.
New Jersey Devils prospect Colby Sissons scored the opening goal for the Broncos as he skated into the zone along the right wing and simply threw a wrist shot on net that fooled Warriors goaltender Zach Sawchenko. Swift Current scored the opening goal for the sixth time in this best-of-seven set
Tyler Steenbergen scored the Broncos second goal of the game on a power play opportunity less than two minutes into the second period. Steenbergen scored via one-timer off a pass from Aleksi Heponiemi and it marked his sixth goal of the playoffs, tying him for the league lead.
Moose Jaw got on the board midway through the second as Josh Almeida snapped in one by Broncos goaltender Jordan Papirny who got a piece of the puck before it went in. Shots on goal were 26 apiece through 40 minutes of play.
Broncos team captain Glenn Gawdin provided the insurance marker for Swift Current as he scooped up a rebound from a Steenbergen wrist shot that went off the backboards and towards the Warriors cage before tucking it over Sawchenko. It was a 3-1 game with plenty of time left in the third period but the Broncos continued to play sound defence and get steady goaltending from Papirny.
The Broncos killed off three straight penalties in the third period to maintain their 3-1 lead but Moose Jaw made it a game as Josh Brook aimed a wrister from the right faceoff dot high by Papirny to make it a 3-2 game. The goal arrived with 5:01 left in regulation with Tanner Jeannot and Brett Howden gathering the assists.
Moose Jaw pulled Sawchenko with two minutes left for the extra attacker but Papirny and the Broncos played sound defence and hung on to win Game 7 by a 3-2 score to set up a Round Two date against the Regina Pats.
Papirny was incredible, finishing the evening with 39 saves while Sawchenko countered with 27 stops for Moose Jaw.
Shots on goal were 41-30 in favour of Moose Jaw. The Broncos went 1/4 on their man advantages and killed off all five Warrior power play chances.
Swift Current advances to Round Two of the WHL Playoffs for the first time since 2008. They will go against the East Division Champion Regina Pats with Game 1 set to go on Thursday, April 6th at the Brandt Centre. Puck drop is at 7:00pm MT.