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Wednesday, 23 January 2013 11:32

Milestones ‘just another game’ for Scarlett, Lund

Written by  Brad Brown
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Chance Lund has been in the middle of a lot of celebrations lately. Chance Lund has been in the middle of a lot of celebrations lately.

Forgive Reece Scarlett and Chance Lund for not throwing a party on the occasion of their recent milestones.
They’ve got bigger fish to fry.

“It was just another game,” Scarlett said of his 250th Western Hockey League game. “Looking at the stats sheet before the game, I saw it was 250 and you look back and think it’s a lot of games, but other than that it was just another game.”
Surely they’d both like to win a league title; even a playoff series or two. But for either of those goals to materialize, the Swift Current Broncos’ elder statesmen will have to start by winning their first-ever playoff game.
Scarlett hit 250 on Jan. 12 against Calgary. Lund played his 300th WHL game Jan. 15 at Moose Jaw.
For most of those games, through no fault of their own, both men have been core pieces in a couple of lengthy rebuilds.
Lund skated in 258 regular-season games for the Seattle Thunderbirds before being traded to Swift Current. In that time, Seattle made the playoffs once. As a 16-year-old rookie in 2008-09, Lund was a scratch for all five games of Seattle’s first-round loss to Spokane.
Likewise, the Broncos have only made the playoffs once since Scarlett began his rookie season in 2009-10. Scarlett even contributed two assists during the abbreviated post-season run, but the Broncos were swept in four straight by Brandon.
In simple terms, they have a lot left to accomplish for two guys with almost eight full seasons worth of games in the rearview mirror.
It’s telling that with 553 regular-season games between them, neither Lund nor Scarlett considers any one of them individually as their career highlight.
Instead they talk about the resulting opportunities because of those games.
For Lund, it was claiming a silver medal with Team Pacific at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. For Scarlett, it was being drafted by the New Jersey Devils in 2011.
Maybe after this year that will change.
A rare blend of size (six-foot-five) and speed, the undrafted Lund is in his final season of junior eligibility, and conveys a sense of urgency in even the most clichéd appraisals of the situation at hand.
“[I want] to finish really strong, to not let down ... and to consistently battle hard to make the playoffs.”
There’s urgency too for 19-year-old Scarlett, who signed with the New Jersey Devils in the fall. While it’s possible he could be back in Swift Current next year to take a run at the club’s all-time games played record, a more likely path for any signed prospect would be a year of seasoning in the minor pro ranks.
The Broncos (23-20-3-2) have won six in a row and are fifth in the Eastern Conference with 24 games to play and momentum on their side.
Maybe, finally, they’re both in the right place at the right time.

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