Print this page
Wednesday, 20 February 2013 13:29

Rollercoaster ride continues for the Broncos

Written by  Brad Brown, Broncos' Notebook
Rate this item
(0 votes)

A rollercoaster ride of a season for the Swift Current Broncos continued Monday with a 5-2 loss to the surging Kootenay Ice at the Credit Union iplex.


Jaedon Descheneau led the way for the Ice with a hat trick, including two power play goals and an empty-netter, to bring Kootenay (29-29-2-0) to .500 for the first time all season.
The win also moved the Ice past the Lethbridge Hurricanes into the eighth and final playoff spot in the WHL’s Eastern Conference, two points back of the Broncos (28-26-3-3) for seventh and three back of the Medicine Hat Tigers (30-27-2-1) for sixth.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
The Broncos appeared to be a virtual lock for a playoff spot after a seven-game win streak in January, but have since won just four of 11 games as the team’s secondary scoring has almost completely dried up.
Beyond captain Adam Lowry’s 13 points (seven goals, six assists) and 19-year-old defenceman Reece Scarlett’s 10 (one goal, nine assists), no Bronco has more than six points in the past 11 games.
Key cogs such as Jay Merkley, Dillon Heatherington and Brycen Martin have one assist each since the winning streak ended, while the normally-stingy defence has allowed 34.4 shots per game.
Even starting goalie Eetu Laurikainen has struggled, posting an uncharacteristic .906 save percentage in his last four games after reeling off the hottest five-game stretch of his young WHL career earlier this month.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Another part of what ails the Broncos has been their once-vaunted special teams.
While their power play and penalty kill still rank fourth and fifth, respectively, in the WHL, the special teams too have been in a free fall since the end of Swift Current’s winning streak.
Over the past 11 games, the Broncos have connected on just four of 35 power play opportunities (11.4 per cent) while giving up nine goals on 45 penalty kills (80 per cent).
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Swift Current begins the final sixth of its season tonight at the iplex with the first half of a home-and-home series with the Tigers.
After traveling to Medicine Hat on Saturday, the Broncos return home Sunday to host the Brandon Wheat Kings in the first half of another home-and-home that will wrap up Wednesday in Brandon.
Seven of the Broncos’ remaining 12 games are against teams below them in the standings, with five coming at home and seven on the road.
The regular season wraps up March 16 at home against the Regina Pats.

Read 747 times