The Swift Current Broncos will be making their first trip to the Memorial Cup in 25 years after winning the Western Hockey League championship for the third time in franchise history.
The Broncos first trip to the Memorial Cup remains the highlight in franchise history when they won the 1989 edition in Saskatoon on Tim Tisdale’s overtime winner in a 4-3 victory over the host Saskatoon Blades.
The 1988-89 Broncos absolutely dominated the WHL that season with a 55-16-1 record, scoring 447 goals along the way, an average of 6.2 goals per game. Tisdale led the team with 139 points followed by 100-point seasons from Peter Kasowski, Sheldon Kennedy, Dan Lambert, and Brian Sakic.
Their power play, quarterbacked by Lambert and Darren Kruger, scored 180 goals that season, a WHL record that has never been challenged.
The Broncos were even more dominant in the playoffs when they swept the Moose Jaw Warriors, Saskatoon Blades, and Portland Winterhawks in four games each. Tisdale led the team with 32 points in 12 playoff games, followed by Lambert with 28 points. Trevor Kruger led all goaltenders with 12 wins, a 2.95 goals against average, and a 0.908 save percentage.
The Broncos opened the 1989 Memorial Cup with a 6-4 win over the Peterborough Petes and then defeated the Laval Titans 6-5. They lost 5-4 to the host Blades, but reached the final with a 6-2 semi-final win over Peterborough.
Kennedy tied for the tournament scoring lead with nine points and was named to the Tournament All-Star Team. Tisdale finished with seven points and was named the centre on the All-Star Team. Lambert tied for third in tournament scoring with eight points, was named to the All-Star Team and won the Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
The Broncos also won the WHL Championship in 1993 and returned to the Memorial Cup in Sault Ste. Marie.
The Broncos were also the top team in the 1992-93 regular season with a 49-21-2 record, led by 81 goals and 81 assists from Jason Krywulak. Rick Girard followed with 141 points and Todd Holt chipped in 113 points.
The Broncos opened the playoffs with a 4-2 series win over Medicine Hat and then swept the Regina Pats in four games. They met the Portland Winterhawks in the WHL Championship series and advanced with a game seven win. The Broncos finished with the top six players in the WHL playoff scoring race as they averaged 5.47 goals in the post-season. Andy Schneider led all post-season scorers with 39 points in 17 games.
The 1992-93 Broncos were unable to win a second Memorial Cup as they won only once in four efforts. Their only win came over the eventual champion and host Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in their opening game of the tournament
The Broncos will be joined at the 100th edition of the Mastercard Memorial Cup in Regina by the host Pats, as well as the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League champion Acadie-Bathurst Titan and the Ontario Hockey League champion Hamilton Bulldogs.