Thursday, 18 January 2018 05:27

U.S. trip starts right with 3-2 win in Tri-Cities

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Recent trips south of the border for the Swift Current Broncos haven't been too kind as the club posted an 0-5 record the last time they did the swing in the 2015-16 season, but the tide turned as the Broncos started the 2017-2018 U.S. trip with a bang, edging the Tri-City Americans at the Toyota Centre on Wednesday night.

Matteo Gennaro got the Broncos on the board at the 14:58 mark of the first period, going upstairs from in close past Americans goaltender Patrick Dea. Aleksi Heponiemi did a nice little backdoor pass from behind the Tri-City cage to set up the goal.

Then with less than a minute to go, Heponiemi scored his 22nd of the campaign as he accepted a good long pass from Kaden Elder who was located in the corner and went top cheddar to give his team a 2-0 lead. Giorgio Estephan recorded an assist for his 299th career WHL point.

Penalty kill play by the visiting Broncos was spectacular as they went 3/3 but then a bad luck play saw Jordan Topping get one from in close to cut the score to 2-1. Shots on goal were 25-15 in favour of Swift Current through 40 minutes.

In the third period, Broncos forward Andrew Fyten took a two-minute minor for kneeing but the Broncos penalty kill play remained consistent and they survived through it.

Tri-City tied it up at the 16:59 mark as defenceman Jake Bean smacked in a cross-crease pass from teammate Morgan Geekie.

Overtime was needed and it was a crazy sequence of events. Gennaro appeared to score the game winner on a breakaway chance but the goal was waved off due to the net being knocked off. It didn't matter though as Heponiemi buried his second of the night seconds later, notching the game winner from the high slot to trump the Americans by a score of 3-2.

Goaltender Stuart Skinner blocked 24 shots for his third straight victory since joining the Broncos.

Shots on goal were 40-26 in favour of Swift Current. The Broncos power play went 0/1 while the Americans went 1/5 on their man advantages.

Note: 20-year-old forward Giorgio Estephan played in his 300th WHL contest on Wednesday night.

Swift Current now hits the road down to Oregon where they will faceoff against the Portland Winterhawks on Friday, January 19th. Puck drop is at 9:00pm CT.

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