May 23rd, 2024

Broncos get past the Hurricanes again

By Dale Woodard on December 29, 2021.

For the second night in a row, the shot clock favoured the Lethbridge Hurricanes, but the score clock did not.

The Canes were defeated 5-2 by the Swift Current Broncos in Western Hockey League play Tuesday night at the Enmax Centre.

Facing the Broncos for the second time in as many nights following a 4-2 setback Monday night in Swift Current, the Canes pumped 41 shots on Swift Current goaltender Isaac Poulter, while giving up 24 going back the other way.

But for the second time in as many nights, the final tally on the scoresheet wasn’t in their favour as Lethbridge drops to 12-13-2-0, while the Broncos improve to 13-15-3-1.

The loss took the shine off affiliated player and 2021 first-round draft pick Miguel Marques’ first WHL goal after the 10th overall pick in the WHL Prospects draft earlier this month scored early in the second period to tie the game at 1-1.

The Hurricanes were also without leading scorer Justin Hall for the second night, who is out with the flu.

“I thought we had a lot of chances again,” said Hurricanes head coach Brent Kisio. “But we’re just not finding ways to score goals right now. Their goalie played well again, but we’re not around the crease enough and getting greasy enough.”

The Broncos provided the lone goal of the first period when Carter Stebbings converted an in-close feed from Raphael Pelletier on the powerplay midway through the period for a 1-0 lead despite being outshot 15-8 in the opening 20 minutes.

Marques evened the affair withhis first WHL goal 2:10 into the second, taking a long pass from Joe Arntsen and beating Poulter glove side to knot things up at 1-1.

“It means a lot,” said Marques, a product of Prince George. “It’s pretty special to do it in front of the home crowd and hearing my name get called and the cheering. But (Tristan) Zandee took a hit to make a play and got it up to me and I was alone on a breakaway.”

Kisio noted the affiliated player’s goal giving his bench a little life.

“It was awesome, he got us going,” said Kisio. “You don’t want your 15-year-old to be the one who has to get you going. But he did tonight. He played hard and he made things happen and it was a good goal for us.”

But the Broncos struck for a pair late as former Hurricane Kayden Sadhra-Kang sent a shot past Hurricanes goaltender Bryan Thomson for a 2-1 lead with 4:10 left in the second.

Swift Current went on the man advantage late in the second when Lethbridge’s Logan Barlage was called for roughing and clicked for a second time as Connor Hvidston scored for a 3-1 lead after 40 minutes.

The hosts threatened early in the third.

Lethbridge pulled to within one 2:04 into the third on Noah Boyko’s 11th of the season to make it 3-2 Broncos.

Nash nearly tied it up minutes later, but was unable to finish a close-in chance past Poulter to keep Swift Current’s 3-2 lead intact.

The Broncos added a little insurance with 4:04 left on a goal from Josh Davies to make it 4-2 and hit the road into the snowy night on an empty-netter from Cole Nagy with 56 seconds remaining.

“I thought we were pretty good, we just have to capitalize on our chances,” said Marques. “We let off the gas a little bit in the second half of the second period and that’s what cost us, to have that lapse there.”

In his three games with the Hurricanes after being called up from the Delta Hockey Academy U17 AAA, Marques has turned a few heads with six shots on goal and a few scoring chances before finally breaking through Tuesday.

“It’s awesome,” said Marques. “All the boys are great to me. They make me feel confident out there and I just know I can play my game. They’re all good in the room and make me feel really welcome.”

After lighting it up with the Delta Hockey Academy U17 AAA in the first half of the season, Marques now gets a look at the next level in the WHL.

“I think it’s just the pace of play,” said Marques who has 27 goals and 68 points in 17 games with the U17 team and one goal and three points in two games with the Delta Hockey Academy U18 Prep. “I have all the tools and my good hockey IQ. I can make plays, but it’s just the pace.”

Thomson stopped 19 of 23 shots, while Poulter kicked out 39 of the 41 he faced.

Hvidston added an assist for a two-point night.

Pelletier, Brady Birnie and Caleb Wyrostok each had two assists for Swift Current.

The Hurricanes were 0-for-2 on the power play. The Broncos clicked 2-for-4 on the man advantage.

Lethbridge rings in the New Year in Calgary against the Hitmen Jan. 1 and returns to the Enmax Centre Jan. 2 when the Broncos return.

The Moose Jaw Warriors are in town Jan. 7.

NOTES: There were eight games on the slate Tuesday, including the Hurricanes and the Broncos.

The Red Deer Rebels kept their grip on third place in the Eastern Conference and moved to within three points of the Edmonton Oil Kings for second place following a wild 7-6 shootout win over the Saskatoon Blades in Saskatoon.

In Calgary, the Hitmen grabbed two key points in the tight Eastern Conference with a 3-1 win over the Medicine Hat Tigers, while the Warriors got past the Oil Kings 7-4 in Moose Jaw.

Out west, the Western Conference-leading Everrett Silvertips padded their lead atop the standings following a 6-5 win over the Prince George Cougars in Prince George.

The Spokane Chiefs had a four-goal second period to get past the Seattle Thunderbirds 6-3 in Seattle, while the Portland Winterhawks earned a decisive 9-2 win over the Tri-City Americans in Portland.

In Kamloops, the Blazers fell 2-1 to the Kelowna Rockets in overtime.

After a trio of trades on Monday, the Tigers, Cougars and Blades teamed up to pull off a three-player deal Tuesday.

The Tigers acquired Pavel Bocharov and Brendan Lee from Saskatoon and a fifth-round pick in the 2025 WHL draft from Prince George.

The Cougars landed Carlin Dezainde and Cayden Glover from Medicine Hat as well as a conditional second round pick in 2023.

From the Blades, the Cougars also got a third-round pick in 2023 and a seventh-round pick in 2025.

The Blades landed Kyren Gronick from Prince George and Ryan Nolan from Medicine Hat as well as a fourth-round pick in 2023 from Medicine Hat.

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