The Swift Current Broncos came up just short against the top ranked team in the Canadian Hockey League on Saturday in a 3-2 loss to the Saskatoon Blades, who became the first Western Hockey League team to clinch a playoff spot this season.
The Blades opened the scoring 6:27 into the first period with a Egor Sidorov power play goal, his 42nd goal of the season.
The Broncos were awarded a five-minute power play in the second period, but managed only one shot on goal with a chance to tie the game. Brady Birnie tied the game with 6:29 remanning in the second period when he found the puck off a face-off and out-waited the goaltender before lifting the puck into the net.
The Blades took a second lead early in the third period on Brandon Lisowsky’s 30th goal of the season, a seeing-eye shot from the point. The Broncos tied the game a second time when Clarke Caswell fired home his 16th goal. The Blades scored the winning goal 11:28 into the period when Lukas Hansen took advantage of a turnover and scored on a breakaway to close the scoring.
Joey Rocha took the loss with 24 shots to fall to 8-11-1-0. Austin Elliot improved to 24-4-2-1 with 24 saves for the Blades.
The Broncos remain fifth in the Eastern Conference with a 26-19-3-2 record. Saskatoon now have points in 11 straight games as they improved to 39-9-2-3 to lead the WHL.
The Broncos will conclude the five-game home stand on Wednesday when they host the rival Lethbridge Hurricanes for a Valentine’s Day meeting.