Four-goal first period boosts Broncos past Raiders

Glenn Gawdin

The Swift Current Broncos put the pedal to the medal against the Prince Albert Raiders and throttled their way to a 5-1 win on Friday night.

Glenn Gawdin scored the game’s first goal as fans were still filing into their seats. The Bronco captain needed only 22 seconds to pot one in the back of the cage as he took advantage of a Curtis Meger turnover in Raiders territory and snapped it low by Meger.

Gawdin was at it again minutes later as he kept the puck on a two-on-one break and beat Meger glove side to make it 2-0. The goal from the 20-year-old centre marked his 46th of the season with Tyler Steenbergen and Artyom Minulin gathering the assists on the play.

Broncos forward Giorgio Estephan hopped on the scoring train, receiving a nice cross ice pass from Beck Malenstyn and sliding it into an open Raiders net giving Swift Current a lofty 3-0 lead.

Before the end of the period, Malenstyn redirected his seventh goal of the season on a Broncos power play chance from in close. Estephan released the initial shot from the left faceoff area while Matteo Gennaro picked up the other helper.

Swift Current kept the momentum going into the second period as Aleksi Heponiemi registered his 70th assist of the year in setting up Kaden Elder for the Broncos fifth goal. Elder bounced the pass from his skate to his blade while striding towards the Raiders goal and snuck one by Meger at the 1:43 mark.

The Raiders got one back to spoil a near perfect performance from Broncos goaltender Stuart Skinner. Prince Albert forward Justin Nachbaur gathered a rebound chance from in close and slid it by Skinner after the netminder made the initial save on a shot from Sean Montgomery.

During the third period, rough play was occurring as each team demonstrated frustrations with one another, resulting in several roughing penalties but the Broncos maintained their four-goal cushion and went on to win their seventh straight home contest 5-1.

Skinner was sharp again on Friday night, stopping 29 shots to collect his eighth win as a Bronco.

Shots on goal were 35-30 in favour of Swift Current.  The Broncos went 1/4 on the power play while the Raiders finished 0/3.

Next up for the Broncos is a home date against the Brandon Wheat Kings on Saturday, February 10th at the Innovation Credit Union i-Plex. Puck drop is at 7:00pm CT.