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Wednesday, 14 November 2012 15:16

Broncos’ 18-year-olds steer team into second place

Written by  Brad Brown
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Broncos' Coda Gordon has his sights set on getting on an offensive roll. Broncos' Coda Gordon has his sights set on getting on an offensive roll.

A foot of snow had just hit the ground and the roads (much like the Swift Current Broncos’ season) were in questionable condition. In short, a great time for an 18-year-old to take the wheel.


Or, in this case, three of them.
Saturday, Coda Gordon scored his first goal in 12 games — the game winner — as the Broncos beat the Prince Albert Raiders 4-1 at the Credit Union iplex.
Sunday, Levi Bews scored the game’s opening goal, extending his career-high point-scoring streak to four games, in a 3-2 Broncos win over the hometown Brandon Wheat Kings.
And drawing an assist on Bews’ goal was Colby Cave, who also scored his first Western Hockey League hat trick Nov. 7 in a 6-5 road loss to the Raiders.
In all, the three 1994-born players were responsible for five goals and eight assists — or 36 per cent of Swift Current’s offence — over the past three games, as the Broncos (9-9-3-2) won back-to-back games for the second time all season and moved into second place in the WHL’s East Division.
“We’re at that pivotal point where we’re not the young guys, we’re not the old guys and we have to pick up our end of it,” said Bews. “We can’t depend on other guys to do our job.”
It wasn’t long ago that there were questions whether any of them would have a job at all.
These days they’re turning more doubters into believers every day.
Gordon went undrafted in 2009 after breaking his femur in his first year of bantam, then parlayed a 30-goal rookie season in 2011-12 to a spot on the Calgary Flames’ draft board in this summer’s NHL Entry Draft.
Bews, a former second-round Bantam Draft pick, was traded twice in the first 40 games of the 2011-12 season. This year, he’s tied for the team lead with 10 goals, three away from matching the total from the first 129 games of his career.
And Cave was deemed by the Kootenay Ice two years ago to be fair value for one-eighth of Cody Eakin. With 13 points in 2012-13, Cave is three shy of last year’s rookie season-total himself. He’s a fixture on the Broncos’ No. 6-ranked penalty kill, and is also on NHL Central Scouting’s preliminary Futures List of North American skaters to watch for the 2013 NHL draft.
“I know I have thought about it a couple times and it did affect me a little bit,” said Cave. “But I just have to realize if it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. And I just have to play a consistent game and try and contribute to the team winning.”
Will any of them still be wearing blue and white as over-agers? Or even at the end of this year for that matter?
Time will tell.
One thing it’s already told is that the kids are starting to grow up.

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