It's been a long time since the Broncos have been able to do that in Medicine Hat... in fact, I can't recall it.
With the score 5-1 after two periods favoring the Broncos, the game was over. The fans knew it and you could hear a pin drop in the routinely sold-out Arena of 4006. A couple more goals in the third made it a 7-2 win for the visitors.
It's been a long time coming.
The Tigers are no doubt going through a re-tooling phase but that doesn't mean they won't compete for playoff spot. Keep in mind that is their first regulation loss of this early season.
Personally, my play-by-play stint has also coincided with Tigers dominance. They won the Eastern Conference four years in a row and have outright blasted teams in their barn. Those days are over, at least for now.
I won't get into a game recap but there were a few things that caught our attention.
- Eric Doyle is looking more and more like former Bronco d-man Aaron Rome. His four point night was highlighted by a nice three-way passing play in which he finished off the play with a nice move on Tigers goaltender Ryan Holfeld. Doyle has six points in three games to lead the team in scoring. Last year's trade with Everett is starting to take form for the Broncos.
- Jan Dalecky scored his first ever in the WHL last night. Expect more from this 17 year-old Czech import.
- I am completely comfortable with Travis Yonkman in goal. He appears to have the same feeling. Relaxed, poised, in control of the play and has provided three solid starts to begin the season.
- Geordie Wudrick is off to a good start to the season. Three goals in three games. This is a big season for Geordie being his draft year. I'm happy to see him get off to a good start.
- Brady Leavold looks to be the odd man out of the present 20 year-old situation. Brady has been like a cat with this team. Are his nine lives up? He's been written off before... I'm not about to do that yet.
- Keegan Dansereau made his debut last night. He wasn't supposed to play but felt good enough following warm-up to get on the ice and give it a go. He wasn't credited with an assist on Geordie Wudrick's 2nd goal. He should have been. He also created a turn-over with a big hit behind the Tigers goal which allowed Matt Tassone to score an announced unassisted goal. Other than that you could tell his conditioning isn't quite where it should be yet.
- Erik Felde will be here tomorrow from Tri-City. Word is he's jacked to be coming here and wants to be apart of this team on the rise.
DEAN BREAKS DOWN THE DEALS....
Broncos Head Coach and G.M. Dean Chynoweth was openly candid about the trades and what prompted the moves during an interview we aired in the 1st intermission. He didn't hold back any info... I thought I would share his comments on here....
On dealing defenseman Paul Postma.... "Paul is a tremendous young man. These trades aren't easy. Everybody thinks you just pick up the phone, tell the kids and you walk off, that's not the case. You create bonds and ties with these individuals, you are with them through the course of the season. Paul I can honestly say is one of the nicest young men that I've had the opportunity to coach. I told him yesterday morning this had nothing to do with something he's done, it had to do with making this hockey club better and paying the price to do it."
On trading forward Kyle Bortis...... "Kyle's situation was considerably different. We want players who want to come in here and want to be here and be part of the solution, and Kyle wasn't. He requested a trade and his play dictated thay throughout training camp and the start of the season. So were able to turn that into a positive for our hockey club.
Both Paul and Kyle are going into a situation on a very, very good hockey team and they probably won't have to play in the situation that we expected them to here because (Calgary) has so much depth. There's a good chance it can be a win-win trade for both teams.
On what Erik Felde is expected to bring to the Broncos....."Erik is all speed and probably more. He is a dynamic skater and can really blow the doors off when he gets out there and wound up. He's not a real big guy but an extremely competitive player. He had a pretty good season last year coming out of junior "A" and has had a good start to the season this year. I was a little concerned on what his interest level would be coming to Swift Current as we did talk earlier this summer about that. It was interesting because he was very, very excited and it was a non-issue. He doesn't care where it is he wants to play. He wants to earn a contract or a try-out at the pro level and he's here to play hockey. I'm real excited about that part of it and it's going to solidify our top two lines, both him and Dansereau.
The key with Felde is he can quarterback the powerplay from the back-end and he has played defense. So losing Paul Postma who is a powerplay guy, Felde will roll right into that position.
On getting Keegan Dansereau from Calgary despite him being sent home by the Hitmen for breaking team rules.... "He's a very dynamic individual he has a great shot and great release. He's a guy maybe from their side who hasn't lived up to expectations and hype they had. Some of it has to do with probably commitment, not only on the ice but off it. I had a good long talk with him this morning about this being a fresh start. He's going to have a real good opportunity here to play in key situations to give him and the team success. I'm going to expect a lot on the other side of that.
The off-ice stuff, there's a lot of that which goes on around the league - stories that get told. That's one thing I'm not going to delve into and I never do with our hockey club. We deal with our stuff internally and that's how it has to be.
On the Broncos making a statement on being a legitimate WHL contender..... "I think it's definitely a sign we think we can compete in the Eastern Conference. I saw the deal between Vancouver and Regina and it kind of irked me a bit as it's a pretty good trade for them. I felt from our side that Regina is going to be one of the teams we will probably have to beat, probably in our division. We want to compete and try and win a division title first and foremost and set ourselves up for the playoffs. This just puts us more in line with trying to accomplish that with a legitimate top two lines."
It looks like a good trade for us right now, but the game is played on the ice. From here we still have to come together as a team and we have a long way to go. Im not real concerned where we are right now, I'm more concerned where we are at Christmas heading into the 2nd half.
On how the trade came together with the three teams involved.... " We have talked a lot about that group of '89 defenseman we have (four) and I'll be honest my intention was not to trade any of those guys this season unless something really knocked my socks off. Carrying 8 defenseman is not the way to go and I like the progress that 16 year-old Joel Rogers kid has made.
As for the timing of it, I've been working on the Felde deal from the summer. He was on the table from Tri-City, then off the table for a bit with his start to the season. The Dansereau deal I inquired about right away when he was sent home to get the details on it. We had some discussion then but (Calgary Hitmen G.M.) Kelly Kisio can be sometimes difficult to deal with at different times so we kind of just let that sit. It's just the regular trade process but one that took time to put together because we had the three-way trade as two separate deals.
We didn't want to do something back-door to Calgary as far as moving a player right through to a third team (Brett Plouffe). We don't want to have that reputation of doing that so we decided to bring everybody in on it and have everyone on side. All that knowing the deal may go sideways because Calgary was also dealing on Felde.
I think Dean really let everyone know the behind-the-scenes details of pulling off a trade and the work that goes into it. Maybe it's just me but I find that talk fascinating. Just some great candid answers before last night's game.