The Swift Current Broncos concluded the 2020-21 Western Hockey League regular season with points in their final three games after a 6-5 overtime loss to the Prince Albert Raiders on Wednesday in Regina.
The Broncos erased a two-goal deficit in the third period to force overtime before Ozzy Weisblatt scored on a partial breakaway to end the East Division season.
“I thought early we were just a little bit too cute with the puck,” said Head Coach Dean Brockman. “We passed up on opportunities to shoot the puck and create a little bit more offense. We got ourselves into a little bit of penalty trouble. It seemed when we almost had it killed off they’d get a little bounce or a break here and there. I give our guys a lot of credit, I thought they showed some resiliency coming from behind and playing hard. A lot of teams or guys would have said the hell with it. Each man that played tonight I thought played as hard as he could.”
The Broncos took the initial lead when Raphael Pelletier found a rebound off the end boards and knocked home his fourth of the season. The Raiders responded with a power play goal from Reece Vitelli and another goal from Terrell Goldsmith late in the first period. Michael Farren nearly tied the game at the buzzer but Max Paddock dove across for a glove save to maintain the Raiders’ lead.
Bode Hagan tied the game in the second period with a breakaway goal on a shot to the glove side. The Raiders took their second lead with a power play goal from Tyson Laventure with 2:12 remaining in the middle stanza.
The two teams combined for five goals in a wild third period as the Broncos fought back to force overtime.
Justin Nachbaur scored only 16 seconds into the period to double the Raiders lead. Carter Stebbings cut the lead in half with a power play goal on the backhand, his fourth goal of the season. Vitelli restored the lead again for the Raiders 7:03 into the period, but Mathew Ward replied quickly for the Broncos with another power play goal.
The power play was the result of a match penalty to Paddock when he took exception to Josh Davies’ snowing him and responded with six consecutive punches to the back of Davies’ head, the first with his glove, followed by five with his blocker.
The Broncos pulled their goalie late and the move paid off when Cole Nagy found a puck in the slot and his attempt dribbled over the line with 63 seconds remaining to force the extra frame.
Broncos rookie Reid Dyck finished the season with a 3-4-1-0 record after making 32 saves.
Paddock made 21 saves on 24 shots over 48:01 of work before his game misconduct. Carter Serhyenko made six saves on eight shots in his 12:53 appearance.
The Broncos finished the regular season with a 6-16-2-0 record. Prince Albert finished 9-11-3-1, fourth in the Subway East Division Hub Centre.
Bronco Bits: 2019 sixth round pick Karson King made his WHL debut and picked up an assist on the second goal. Overage forward Michael Farren had three assists in his final WHL game as he led the team with 23 points in 24 games this season.