The Swift Current Broncos scored four unanswered goals to tie the best-of-seven 2018 Rogers WHL Championship Series at one game apiece after a thrilling 4-3 comeback overtime win over the Everett Silvertips on Saturday.
Giorgio Estephan lifted a rebound into a partially open net 9:27 into overtime to lift the Broncos to the win and hand the Silvertips their first road loss of the playoffs.
“Coming into the zone, Beck [Malenstyn] made a good play to Matteo [Gennaro] in the middle,” explained Estephan. “He kind of poked it off the pad and I was just lucky the puck kind of rolled to me and I got to put it home. It’s definitely one that I’d say we’re pretty fortunate to be able to get that goal and this win.”
The Broncos fell behind 3-0 before erasing the deficit with three straight goals to force overtime in front of another sold-out crowd of 2,890 at the Innovation Credit Union iplex.
The Silvertips took control of the game with a three-goal opening period. Matt Fonteyne opened the scoring 3:14 into regulation and then Martin Fasko-Rudas and Riley Sutter scored 4:15 apart for the Silvertips.
The Broncos finally got on the board with the only goal of the second period when Matteo Gennaro backhanded a third-chance rebound into an empty net for his ninth goal of the post-season.
Skinner made his best save of the game 3:52 into the third period with a desperation glove save off of Riley Sutter and then Colby Sissons dove to stop Connor Dewar from putting the rebound into an empty net.
The Broncos pulled within one goal when Sissons fired home a point shot 6:22 into the third period with his fourth goal of the playoffs.
Skinner added another desperation glove save off Dewar midway through the period to keep the deficit at 3-2.
The Broncos pulled their goaltender with 2:25 left on the clock and it paid off when Tyler Steenbergen snapped home a shot to tie the game. The Broncos almost ended the game a minute a later when Matteo Gennaro snapped a shot off the post and then the rebound ricocheted off a skate before Hart cleared it from the goalline.
Skinner got the win with 40 saves, while Carter Hart took the loss with 34 saves on 38 shots.
“Like they were saying, Skins [Stuart Skinner] kept us in the game. That’s all you can ask from every player on the team is to kind of do their part. Even when you’re down, however many goals, it’s everyone kind of chipping in in a way. I was just fortunate that I was able to help our team win tonight. It’s going to be another guy a different night and it’s just everyone working hard towards the same goal,” said Estephan.
The series now shifts to Everett for games three, four, and five on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. Games six and seven, if necessary, would be next Sunday and Monday back in Swift Current.