It was a fast-paced game filled with scoring chances at both ends. A large crowd of over 5,000 took in the Wednesday night affair . . . was it rain check night or something? I don't remember that much enthusiasm for the Pats in recent years. But I guess if you're 23-8-1-1 on home ice, you will be rewarded with big crowds.
The Broncos led 2-1 midway through the game before the Pats turn the tide with back-to-back goals just 1:05 apart to take the lead. They added two nice goals in the third period - Kaspars Saulities and Mike McAngus on a nice set-up from Jordan Eberle. Eberle is only 16 but was superb in the outing. He's going to be a star in this league. If he continues to progress, the kid could be a 50 goal, 100 points player in the WHL.
Broncos Assistant Coach Dave Hunchak in the Great Western Rail Coaches Show "We flat-out got outworked tonight, not even close to the standard we had set for ourselves from Saturday night in Kootenay. We, didn't work, we got out worked and took penalties because of it and weren't able to draw penalties because of it. Another opportunity to set the tone for a possible playoff match-up and we fall short."
Captain Myles Rumsey, "It was a very disappointing game from many standpoints, when you look at the effort we've had the last four games, we just came out flat. I don't think we should have given up that many shots, that many chances, just mental lapses left, right and center."
I would give a bit more credit to Regina who seem to really want the win to take the season series 6-2, including all four on home ice.
The third period got fiesty. First Kyle Ross hit Kyle Bortis from behind which drew the ire of captain Myles Rumsey. Later, Brady Leavold didn't like the check put on him by Mike McAngus. Leavold went after him as the two wrestled around and ended up on the ice. I don't think anything landed. 30 seconds later, Troy Ofakany stuck the knee out and tripped up Levi Nelson. R.J. Larochelle went after Josh Elder in the same play. Again, not much of a fight as they went down to the ice. R.J. was sure fired-up afterwards. In the final minute Jeremy Schenderling and Pats enforcer Myles Stoesz separated from the pack after a goal-mouth scramble. They each took a couple and wrestle before Schendo went for the take down. Probably a good option considering the size he was giving up to the Pats heavy.
Pats Head Coach Curits Hunt was owly at best in the pre-game interview. The vibe I've received from him over the last few years is that he generally doesn't like the media - thinks they're out to get him perhaps. Seems like he always has his guard up. I would think the media has been very kind to Curtis over the years, the Leaderpost has practically made him out to be a rock star. It felt like he'd rather have a root canal than be interviewed.
Thanks to former "Voice of the Moose Jaw Warriors" Randy Merkley for helping out with the color commentary on last night's broadcast. Merks had to take a hiatus from the industry because of some voice problems. He's well liked in media circles and would have no problem getting back into the game if he wanted to. He's currently attending the University of Regina.
The Broncos got some help on the scoreboard last night. Brandon pounded Prince Albert 5-1 while Kootenay all but eliminated Saskatoon from playoff contention with a 7-2 drubbing of the Blades.
The Broncos host the Medicine Hat Tigers tomorrow night. I'll post a game preview later today. For now, it's a quick wrap-up of the morning sportsrun on our three stations and then it's back home for some lounging. When you get home at 1am and the alarm clock goes off at 4:30am it makes for a coffee-cup hugging morning.
It's sunny and already +5 in Swifty, nice.