Swift Current, SK: A battle ensued between the top two teams in the WHL’s East Division on Friday night as the Swift Current Broncos visited the Moose Jaw Warriors on Teddy Bear Toss night at Mosaic Place.
Tristin Langan scored from the bottom of the right faceoff circle less than three minutes in the game to score the Warriors Teddy Bear Toss goal. The ice at Mosaic Place was flooded with teddy bears from fans after the goal.
Once play resumed, Branden Klatt was credited for the Warriors second goal as a rebound off the stick from Tyler Smithies hit the post and bounced off Klatt towards the back of the Bronco cage, making it 2-0.
Swift Current Head Coach Manny Viveiros called a 30 second timeout and that proved worthwhile for his hockey team. Newly acquired forward Matteo Gennaro gathered a Warriors turnover, skated up along the right side and fired a perfect wrist shot glove high for his first goal as a Bronco and importantly, getting the visiting team on track.
Aleksi Heponiemi zipped in a perfect wrist shot by Warriors netminder Brody Willms from the high slot on a Swift Current power play to draw even at two goals apiece.
At the 15:31 mark, the Broncos’ Kole Gable and the Warriors’ Matthew Benson dropped the mitts and exchanged punches in a spirited tilt. The Broncos continued to turn the tide as Glenn Gawdin buried his 21st of the year to give the Broncos three straight unanswered goals and the one-goal advantage to conclude an eventful first period.
Moose Jaw replied with a second period goal from Tate Popple at the 4:28 mark as he slid in a rebound chance from in close to tie it 3-3.
Another element of firsts occurred for the Broncos as rookie defenceman Connor Horning rocketed his first career WHL goal from the right point to restore Swift Current’s lead at 4-3.
Entering the final frame, it only took 15 seconds for the Broncos to go up 5-3. Gawdin finished a nice cross ice pass from Tyler Steenbergen to collect his second of the night.
Moose Jaw refused to give up however as forward Tanner Jeannot took the puck, skated down the left wing and fired a shot by defenceman Sahvan Khaira and through Flodell to once again make it a one-goal game seconds later.
Brayden Burke capped off a two-on-one play for Moose Jaw and then Langan beat Flodell glove side with a shot from the slot to place Swift Current behind the eight-ball 6-5.
As time was winding down, Steenbergen ripped home the tying goal from the high slot to tie this outrageous see-saw battle 6-6.
Overtime was necessary once again to determine a winner and it was the Broncos that pulled through in the clutch as Steenbergen buried his WHL-best 34th marker of the season to lift Swift Current to a crazy 7-6 road win.
Shots on goal were 34-31 in favour of the Broncos. Swift Current went 2/4 on the power play while Moose Jaw finished 0/2.
These two teams get back at it on Saturday, December 2nd at the Innovation Credit Union i-Plex for Teddy Bear Toss night presented by Pattison Agriculture. Puck drop is at 7:00pm CT.