Wednesday, 14 March 2012 13:31

Swift Current Broncos prospect gets his first WHL opportunity

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By Matthew Liebenberg — This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
While the Swift Current Broncos season is drawing to a close, the final few games are providing an opportunity for a young defenceman to get his first taste of WHL hockey.

Brycen Martin, who was selected second overall by the Broncos in the 2011 WHL Bantam draft, played his first game for the team during a trip to Prince Albert on March 9. The following evening local fans had their first opportunity to see the Broncos prospect on the ice when the Raiders played in Swift Current.

“The nerves were firing inside and I was just so excited to get started,” he said about playing his first game for the Broncos.

The 6'1”, 163 lbs. Calgary native was happy for the ice time he got during the two games.

“I would have liked to play a little more, but what can you do,” he said. “I’m only 15. You just kept cheering from the bench.”

Unfortunately his first game with the Broncos turned into a 5-2 loss, with Raiders’ forward Anthony Bardaro almost single-handedly winning the game for his team with four goals.

“We weren’t too happy,” Martin said about that game.

The Raiders looked set to continue on the same path when they scored two quick goals early in the first period during the March 10 game in Swift Current, but the Broncos rallied and scored four goals in the third period for a 6-3 win.

“We decided we had to come out and get the two points, treat it like a playoff series,” Martin said. “Even when we got down, we didn’t stop and it ended in a good outcome.”

During the second period he got checked hard against the boards behind the Broncos net by Raiders forward Joey Santucci. Christian Magnus took exception to this rough treatment of his new teammate and immediately dropped the gloves with Santucci.

Martin said he will have to get used to the faster pace of the game in the WHL.

“Everybody is better, bigger, faster, stronger,” he noted. “Playing against McNeill, that was extremely hard, trying to keep up.”

He played for the Calgary Buffaloes in the AMHL this season, where he scored five goals and 11 assists in 23 games. Martin, who described his style of play as a good passing, offensive defenceman, said he was happy with his season.

“I missed a couple of games with suspensions and being gone at the Youth Olympics, but other than that I felt I had a pretty good season,” he mentioned.

He represented Team Canada at the 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria, where he got five assists during the tournament. He described it as a unique cultural experience.

“You meet so many people and they just put it on so great,” he said. “It was so much fun.”

His opportunity to play for the Broncos came about after the Calgary Buffaloes were defeated in the division semi-final playoffs.

“I was pretty upset but now you get to experience this and that’s really good,” he said.

Based on his experience with the Broncos so far, his goal for the summer months is to increase his strength in preparation for the next season. He is looking forward to make Swift Current his home as a member of the Broncos team in the near future.

Fans will still have an opportunity to see him play during the Broncos final home game Friday, March 16.

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