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Tuesday, 12 March 2013 11:33

Déjà vu for Lamb in win over Brandon

Written by  Brad Brown, Broncos' Notebook
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Swift Current Broncos head coach Mark Lamb had some big-league déjà vu at the end of Saturday’s 3-2 road win over the Brandon Wheat Kings.

A mad scramble in the dying seconds of the game ended when Brandon rookie Jayce Hawryluk rang a last-second shot off the crossbar above Broncos goalie Eetu Laurikainen to preserve the Swift Current win.
What was going through Lamb’s mind?
Then an assistant coach with the NHL’s Dallas Stars, Lamb watched from the bench on Jan. 4, 2007 as the Stars’ Patrik Stefan botched an empty-net breakaway and turned the puck over behind the Edmonton Oilers’ net.
Edmonton’s Ales Hemsky took a long lead pass and thrilled the home crowd with a breakaway goal of his own to tie the game with two seconds left and send it to overtime.
In that game, as in Saturday’s, Lamb’s team held on for a tough – and memorable – road win.
Saturday’s win was the Broncos’ third on a stretch of four games in five nights, and sixth in their last eight overall.
Over that stretch Swift Current has outscored its opponents 24-14.
The Broncos (34-29-3-4) left Saturday’s game sixth in the WHL’s Eastern Conference with the mathematical possibility to finish anywhere from fifth to eighth.
They clinched their first playoff berth in three years with Friday’s 2-1 road win over the Moose Jaw Warriors.
Adam Lowry had three of the Broncos’ five goals in the weekend set while Coda Gordon, Dillon Heatherington, Chance Lund and Jay Merkley added two points apiece.
Heatherington, Swift Current’s prized 17-year-old defenceman, left Saturday’s game after taking a second-period hit from Hawryluk, but as of Monday afternoon Lamb expected him back in the lineup for this weekend’s home-and-home with Regina.
“You play this long and you’ve got guys playing those minutes, yeah there’s bumps and bruises,” said Lamb. “But we’re about as healthy as we can be for this time of year.”
A number of Broncos draft picks remained engaged in their own playoff battles as of Tuesday night as well:
Wyatt Sloboshan and his Saskatoon Contacts swept the Battlefords North Stars from the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League playoffs March 5 and are currently facing the Regina Pat Canadians in the semifinals. Game 3 goes tonight in Saskatoon.
Jackson Keane of the Winnipeg Wild was leading his team with 11 playoff points after sweeping Pembina Valley on Sunday to advance to the Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League final.
In the Alberta Junior Hockey League, Cameron Hughes and the Spruce Grove Saints are facing the Sherwood Park Crusaders in the north division semifinal after receiving a first-round bye for winning the regular-season division title. Game 2 in the best-of-seven is tonight in Spruce Grove.
Meanwhile in the south, Cavin Leth and the Drumheller Dragons swept the Canmore Eagles to advance to their own division semifinal. Canmore is coached by Broncos alumni Andrew Milne and Jeremy Reich while the Drumheller roster also includes former Broncos Ryan Aasman and Ryan Bloom.
And in the B.C. Major Midget League playoffs, Glenn Gawdin’s Greater Vancouver Canadians are facing Domenic Masellis and the Vancouver Northwest Giants in a best-of-three league semifinal beginning tonight. Gawdin scored the game winner in the third and deciding game of the Canadians’ first-round series.

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