Overage net minder Jordan Papirny turned aside 42 of 43 shots in lifting the Swift Current Broncos to a 3-1 home ice victory over the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers.
Papirny improved to 18-16-1-2 on the season and is now 5-5-0-2 as a Bronco since being acquired from the Brandon Wheat Kings at the trade deadline. Papirny has had two of his busiest games of the season in back to back starts, making a season high 43 saves in a 2-0 loss to the Regina Pats on Wednesday, and he followed that up with a 42 save effort tonight.
His bid for his first shutout of the season ended with 1:08 left in the middle period when Medicine Hat’s Mark Rassell scored his 27th of the season on a power play.
Offensively, the Broncos were led by a two goal performance from European forward Aleksi Heponiemi. Heponiemi scored his 22nd of the season at the 15:18 mark of the opening period, and 2:50 later he clicked for his 23rd of the season on the power play.
Riley Stotts stretched the Broncos lead to 3-0 midway through the middle period when he connected for his seventh of the campaign.
Tigers goaltender Michael Bullion turned aside 31 of 34 shots while falling to 15-8-1-0 on the year.
The win improves Swift Current’s record to 30-18-3-6 and allows them to hold down third place in the East Division with 69 points. They sit five point behind second place Moose Jaw, and are now five points ahead of fourth place Brandon who have 64 points after a big 5-3 win over the Regina Pats.
Medicine Hat remains first in the Central Division at 41-17-1-0, and the Tigers 83 points have already clinched them a spot in the post season.
The Broncos wrap up a three game home stand on Saturday night when they host the U.S. Division leading Everett Silvertips (35-12-8-2) who are currently on a four game win streak.