Broncos clinch Central Division on home ice

Clarke Caswell had a goal and an assist in a 6-3 win over the Red Deer Rebels. STEVEN MAH/SOUTHWEST BOOSTER

The Swift Current Broncos clinched a Central Division title with a 6-3 win over the Red Deer Rebels on Wednesday. Six different skaters scored in front of 2,371 fans to help the Broncos clinch their first division banner since winning the East Division in 2001.

Samuel Drancal opened the scoring with a power play goal for the Rebels 6:33 into the opening period. The Broncos tied the game in the final minute of the opening period with a breakaway goal from Clarke Caswell, his 24th of the season.

The Broncos took the lead midway through the second period with a Ryan McCleary goal, his 11th of the season for his hometown team.

Mathew Ward scored on a partial breakaway 5:37 into the third period to double the lead and Josh Filmon scored 18 seconds later to stretch the lead to 4-1 with his 27th goal. Red Deer cut into the lead with 7:42 remaining with a Talon Brigley goal after the Broncos failed to capitalize on a two-man advantage. Connor Gabriel quickly replied for the Broncos with his ninth goal of the season. Red Deer cut into the lead again with a power play and the goaltender pulled as Jhett Larson scored. The Broncos scored an empty net goal seconds later off the stick of Connor Hvidston to close the scoring.

Reid Dyck made 30 saves to improve to 24–7-2-0 for the Broncos. Rhett Stoesser took the loss for Red Deer with 27 saves to fall to 12-12-1-3.

The Broncos improved to 39-21–4-2, while Red Deer fell to 33-24-3-6.

The Broncos will host the Calgary Hitmen on Friday in their second last game of the regular season. They will visit the Hitmen on Sunday.

The Broncos are now locked into the second seed in the opening round of the Eastern Conference playoffs and can still face the Lethbridge Hurricanes, Brandon Wheat Kings, or Prince Albert Raiders.