Ryley Lindgren scored twice in the opening 2:03 and finished with a hat trick to lead the Swift Current Broncos to a 5-2 win over the Moose Jaw Warriors to tie the best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarter-final series at two games apiece.
The host Broncos scored three times in the first period before the Warriors replied with two goals in the second period. Tyler Steenbergen scored into an empty net and Lindgren completed the hat trick late to seal the win.
“I think we came out slow yesterday and weren’t our best,” said Lindgren. “Today we just focused on working hard and wanting it more than them. I think we came out and really crashed the net. That’s what we wanted to do was throw pucks at his feet and get there and we had some good bounces today. The scoreboard showed that and it is definitely nice to get the win at home here.”
The Broncos came out of the gates firing with two goals on their first three shots and three goals in the period on nine shots.
Lindgren scored twice in 1:04 when his first shot floated in from the point and then he followed up a Kole Gable breakaway to jam home the rebound. Steenbergen made it 3-0 with his third of the post-season 8:57 into regulation when he shoveled home a loose puck.
The Warriors were awarded eight minutes of power play time in the first period and thought they had gotten on the scoreboard when Noah Gregor tapped a puck home with 1:14 left in the frame, but it had been gloved down to him by a teammate and replay overruled the goal after the officials somehow missed the obvious glove pass.
The Warriors took advantage of a generous amount of power play time with goals 1:09 apart from Brett Howden and Josh Brook early in the second period to make it a one-goal game.
Jordan Papirny made 30 saves on 32 shots for his second win of the series. Zach Sawchenko made 20 saves on 24 shots on a rare off-night.
“Obviously we knew that if we lost this game our backs would be up against the wall,” said Papirny. “So we were basically fighting for our lives, and on home ice, and following a loss you obviously want to respond big. We just had the mindset that we are going to play a hard-nosed playoff game and I thought that’s exactly what we did.”
The Broncos finished two-for-three on the power play, but spent much of the game shorthanded and the Warriors finished two-for-six on the man-advantage to stay in the game.
“It’s adversity right,” said Papirny. “I think during the regular season you see enough adversity and it kind of trains you a little bit for playoffs. We just do our thing and we will let the coaches handle it.”
Game five will be Friday in Moose Jaw. The series will return to Swift Current on Saturday.