Broncos score three power-play goals in 5-4 win
SWIFT CURRENT — There was plenty of push back from the Moose Jaw Warriors Tuesday night.
A comeback was a little too much to ask for.
The Swift Current Broncos scored three power play goals to pace them to a 5-4 win over the Warriors in the team's annual pre-season rookie game.
"I thought our guys played really hard. They played really well and they competed. In a rookie game like this that's all you can ask for," said Warriors head coach Mike Stothers. "I was really, really impressed."
After a slow start, the Warriors picked up their play in the second period and took the game to a more experienced Broncos club. Swift Current iced seven 1995-born players and had an eighth — back-up goalie Landon Bow — who didn't play. The Warriors didn't have any players that old. Their team was comprised of '96, '97 and '98 born players.
"It was listed as a rookie game and one team actually played rookies and the other team didn't," said Stothers. "I don't know if they don't have any rookies or if they're just trying to break in their '95s."
Miles Warkentine though he had tied the game as he tried to jam the puck over the line with 17 seconds left on a late Warriors power play. The Warriors finished 1-for-7 on the power play as special teams played were a big factor in the final score.
"I thought we had it at the end. I thought it went in, but we battled hard," said Warriors forward Ben Duperreault.
Swift Current opened the scoring through Zac Mackay who also had a pair of assists in the win.
Josh Uhrich tied the game late in the first period when Brandon Del Grosso found him all alone in front of the net.
The Broncos regained the lead early in the second period, but Ryan Bowen and Duperreault both buried rebounds from in close to give the Warriors a 3-2 second period lead.
"I thought we competed and we battled really hard in front of the net and in the crease," said Duperreault. "The young guys didn't back down at all. We did everything we could to win."
The Broncos may have set a physical tone early, but the Warriors answered the bell repeatedly in a game that got heated by the end. The game ended with a scrum between all 12 players on the ice, but only Uhrich and Swift Current's Cole Bevan actually fought.
"We got focused in the room (after the first period) and came out hitting hard and we got back on the board," said Warriors centre Colton McCarthy. "They were hitting hard and they're a lot older than we are. We had a bunch of young guys, but we battled hard and everyone contributed.
"We kept telling the younger guys that they have some big guys, but there's nothing to worry about. They're not going to hurt you. They kept working hard and played their game."
Julius Honka, a Finnish rookie who had an impressive game, tied the game at 3-3 with a power play blast with 15 seconds left in the second period.
Swift Current carried that momentum into the third period.
Jake DeBrusk scored a power play 2:50 into the third period to give the Broncos a lead and Honka scored his second of the night on a clean break to net less than two minutes later.
McCarthy banged in a rebound goal on the power play with 5:20 left and the Warriors pressed for an equalizer, but couldn't tie the game.
Brody Willms went the distance in goal for the Warriors. The 15-year-old was excellent in the first period as he helped hold the Tribe in the game. He made 11 saves in the first period and finished with 26 on the night.
Travis Child stopped 25 shots in goal for the Broncos.
Lineman Ian Schafer hurt his leg early in the first period when McCarthy checked a Bronco into him. The officials used a three-man system the rest of the way.
The Warriors will return to pre-season action on Friday, Sept. 6 in Brandon.