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Thursday, 21 March 2013 05:07

Home sweet road for playoff-bound Broncos

Written by  Brad Brown
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Adam Lowry and Coda Gordon have extra incentive to play in front of Calgary fans. Adam Lowry and Coda Gordon have extra incentive to play in front of Calgary fans.

Every game will be a home game for eight members of the Swift Current Broncos in their WHL Eastern Conference quarterfinal with the Calgary Hitmen.

Adam Lowry, Jay Merkley, Ryon Moser, Dillon Heatherington, Brycen Martin and Bobby Zinkan all call Calgary home, while Levi Bews and Coda Gordon are from the nearby communities of Longview and Cochrane.
Gordon also happens to be a Calgary Flames draft pick.
Coincidence then or not that the Broncos took three of four games this season from the Hitmen and their high-powered offence?
“It definitely gives us that extra boost playing in a lot of our hometowns,” said Lowry. “We have a lot of family and friends there and it’s always nice going there and trying to play well.
“It is definitely like a home away from home for the Swift Current Broncos.”
Playing catch-up for most of the year after a difficult start to the year, Swift Current (36-29-3-4) won eight of its last 10 games – including a 6-2 home win in Saturday’s season finale against the Regina Pats – to maintain a shot at fifth place going into the final night of the season.
The Broncos’ sixth-place fate was sealed before they got off the ice Saturday though as Prince Albert beat Saskatoon to secure fifth.
As one of two active Broncos with any WHL playoff experience, Lowry is looking forward to a different experience than the one he went through as a rookie in 2009-10 — the last time the Broncos made the playoffs.
That year, they played their home games in Regina due to Swift Current’s host duties for the world women’s curling championship and were swept in the first round by the Brandon Wheat Kings.
“The biggest difference from that year to this year is definitely our goaltending,” said Lowry. “There, we had good goaltending but now with Eetu we have one of the premier goalies in the league.
“And I think our team’s built a little more for the playoffs. We’re a little bigger and we’re a little tougher. That year I remember we used to get pushed around a little bit and we didn’t have many tough guys to push back.
“Now I think we have some size and we can get in those trenches and we can get in those tough battles and more often than not come out on top.”
Game 1 of the series was played Thursday in Calgary with Game 2 scheduled for tonight at the Saddledome.
Games 3 and 4 will be played Monday and Tuesday in Swift Current at the Credit Union iplex.
If necessary, Game 5 will be Thursday in Calgary, Game 6 March 30 at the iplex and Game 7 April 1 in Calgary.

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