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Wednesday, 12 December 2012 15:13

Third-stringer Myland gets Broncos’ first SO of year

Written by  Brad Brown, Broncos' Notebook
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Twice the bridesmaid, finally the bride. Playing his first Western Hockey League game in 14 months, Swift Current Broncos goalie Steven Myland stopped 17 shots Tuesday in a 2-0 win over the Prince George Cougars.


It was the first shutout of Myland’s WHL career and first of the Broncos’ season too, as they wrapped up the B.C. portion of a six-game road trip.
Myland was cut by the Broncos last year in favour of Austin Smith and this year to make room for backup Landon Bow, but was recalled last week with Bow recovering from a lower-body injury suffered Dec. 1 against Brandon after being hit by Alessio Bertaggia.
“(Myland) was really upset when he left the team out of camp,” said Broncos head coach and general manager Mark Lamb. “He was fighting for the backup job and probably thought he deserved it just as much as the other guy.
“But we told him we’re only keeping two guys and the other guy won the job, so now here’s an opportunity to really get himself back in league, whether it’s with us or another team because if he goes out there and plays good ... his value goes up.”
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Six weeks ago the Broncos lost 2-1 at home to the Central Division-leading Edmonton Oil Kings.
Lamb cautioned his troops at the time not to become satisfied with merely coming close against the WHL’s top teams. Despite similar outcomes against the Kamloops Blazers and Kelowna Rockets to kick off Swift Current’s B.C. road trip, that concern is now gone.
“The fear I have now is not complacency … but that we haven’t went through a long streak of really bad play,” said Lamb.
Lamb pointed to the 1989-90 Edmonton Oilers, whom he helped win a Stanley Cup. That year the Oilers experienced an early-season skid where they won just once in eight games, and later once in six, before going on to win it all.
“We haven’t had that yet, and that’s the fear I have for this hockey team,” he said.
This year the Broncos have yet to lose more than three in a row, and just seven of their 21 losses have been by more than one goal.
Swift Current (14-16-3-2) enters tonight’s game against Saskatoon third in the WHL’s East Division with 33 points.
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Slowly but surely the Swift Current Broncos are nursing their way back to health.
Forward Levi Bews, who left the Broncos’ Dec. 4 game in Kamloops with a leg injury, rejoined the team Dec. 7 in Vancouver and defenceman Reece Scarlett played Tuesday in Prince George after missing two games with a head injury.
Landon Bow returned to practice Monday and forward Brent Benson, who hasn’t played since suffering a concussion Nov. 7, was also slated to take part Monday in his first contact practice since the injury.
Shea Howorko (concussion) and Josh Derko (ankle) both remain out long-term.
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The injury bug led to the WHL debut of Glenn Gawdin, the Broncos’ first-round pick in this year’s Bantam Draft.
Gawdin was leading the Greater Vancouver Canadians in scoring at the time of his call-up with 25 points in 18 games.
“I just wanted him to have fun with it and get to know the guys,” said Lamb. “He … didn’t play a lot but I just wanted him to get the feeling of it. It’s really nerve-wracking playing your first game because it’s such a big step. He’s really going through a couple steps to get here.”
Gawdin played Dec. 5 against the Kelowna Rockets and Dec. 7 against the Vancouver Giants, registering no points, before being sent back down to the B.C. Major Midget League.
“You have to watch out on the road about how the other coach matches up his lines,” said Lamb. “When we were in Vancouver, they have a very aggressive team. They throw aggressive guys out, tough guys and real good players, so I was very careful.
“I didn’t want him to get intimidated. If I had home ice and the last change, I wouldn’t be afraid to match him up (in a more prominent role).
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Milestone Watch
*up to and including games of Dec. 13
• Reece Scarlett —two points from 100 for his WHL career, 11 games from 250 for his WHL career;
• Daniel Dale —two games from 100 for his WHL career;
• Adam Lowry —two games from 200 for his WHL career, seven assists from 100 for his WHL career;
• Chance Lund —eight games from 300 for his WHL career;
• Dillon Heatherington —eight games from 100 for his WHL career.

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