The Swift Current Broncos dropped an important playoff positioning battle on Friday in a 5-2 loss to the visiting Calgary Hitmen. Sean Tschigerl and Cael Zimmerman each scored twice to help the Hitmen close ground on the Broncos in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
The Broncos took an early lead when Karson King scored on the power play to extend his point streak to eight games with his 10th goal of the season in front of a season-high 1,905 fans. The power play was set up by a massive open ice from Josh Davies to draw the ire of a couple of Hitmen players. The Hitmen tied the game with 3:12remaining in the period when Tschigerl kicked home a puck from just outside the crease.
The Hitmen took control of the game in the second period with three goals for a 4-2 lead. Blake Stevenson scored his 24th goal 8:27 into the period. Carter Stebbings deflected a point shot him to tie the game for the Broncos, but the Hitmen scored only 27 seconds later when Tschigerl notched his second of the night. They added an insurance goal from Zimmerman late in the period.
Zimmerman came out of the penalty box and scored a breakaway goal 5:10 into the third period to extend the lead to 5-2.
Reid Dyck made 22 saves to fall to 6-12-1-0 for the Broncos. Brayden Peters improved to 20-21-2-1 with 25 saves.
The Broncos fell to eighth place in the Eastern Conference with a 26-32-5-2 record. Calgary climbed to ninth with a 24-31-6-2 record, only three points back of the Broncos with two games in hand.
The Broncos will visit the Calgary Hitmen on Sunday with only three games remaining in the regular season.