Tyler Steenbergen notched this first playoff hat trick to lead the Broncos to a 5-2 win for their third lead in the best-of-seven East Division semi-final series on Friday.
“It was pretty great,” said Steenbergen after the win. “They came out pretty strong, so we had to push back near the end of the first and in the second. I think we did a good job at that. We’ve got to bring it again tomorrow.”
The win, in front of a sold out crowd of 2,890 at the Innovation Credit Union iplex, gave the Broncos a 3-2 series lead as the teams continue to trade wins in the series.
“It is pretty special to do it here, especially in front of the home crowd,” said Steenbergen of his first playoff hat trick. “It’s definitely up there for sure. We want to end it tomorrow and hopefully I can bring the same intensity to the game tomorrow.”
The Pats opened the scoring midway through the period when Nick Henry scored a power play goal.
The Broncos responded with power play goals 2:22 apart. Tyler Steenbergen shoveled home a rebound for his third of the series and Glenn Gawdin one-timed home his fourth on the power play.
The Broncos absolutely dominated the second period with three goals. Steenbergen added his second of the game and then Sahvan Khaira fired home a point shot to finish off a string shift for the third line. Steenbergen capped off the period with his hat trick goal on the breakaway high to the blocker side of Ryan Kubic.
Henry scored his second of the game 2:01 into the third period on the power play when a Cameron Hebig shot deflected off him to close the scoring.
Stuart Skinner earned the win with 40 saves on 42 shots. Kubic took loss with 28 saves on 33 shots.
The Broncos finished three-for-seven in the penalty filled affair, while the Pats were two-for-four on the man-advantage.
“Yeah it has been clicking really good,” said Steenbergen of the power play. “I think with Hepo [Alexi Heponiemi] you have always got to expect the puck to come your way. He is an unbelievable playmaker. We have Siss [Colby Sissons] on the top, who does a great job of getting shots through. Then we have Gawds and George [Glenn Gawdin and Giorgio Estephan] they are switching every time. So it is pretty great to be on a power play with all those skilled guys.”
The series returns to Regina for game six on Saturday. Game seven, if necessary, would be Monday in Swift Current.
“I think we have to come out strong,” said Steenbergen. “I think after we’ve had a win we have come out too soft. I think we have to push right from the start and if we do that we will be fine.”