Monday, January 21, 2008

Broncos/Warriors Summit Series Set to Begin

When this is over, these two teams aren't going to like each other much.

The Broncos and the Moose Jaw Warrriors get ready for six head-to-head meetings over the next eight weeks. Adding to that is a potential 1st round playoff series would could add as many as seven games to the total. Could you imagine 13 games between these teams from now till the end of the year?

Of those six games, four will be in Swift Current while the other two are set for the Moose Jaw Civic Center. The Broncos have won the first two meetings either in overtime or a shootout. The Warriors are hot, they've won five straight overall and seven in a row on home ice. Their last loss at home actually came to the Broncos November 24th, 2-1 in a shootout. Their last regulation loss on home ice was November 16th to Calgary.

It's also the first time these teams have met after making more changes up to and including the trade deadline. The Broncos haven't seen the likes of Keaton Ellerby, Ty Wishart and Evan Fuller while the Warriors haven't faced the Broncos with their new look back-end.

It should be great. We're on the air tomorrow night beginning at 6:30pm with the pre-game show. Warriors General Manager Chad Lang will be our guest before puck drop.


What a game Saturday Night!

It featured the most emotion between two teams at the I-plex this season. The Broncos and Vancouver Giants slugged it out for 60 minutes in a playoff type atmosphere.

Both teams were physical, hard on the forecheck, gritty... it was great hockey. The Giants held on for a 2-1 win despite a late Bronco push for the tying goal.

I was impressed with the Giants effort. That was their sixth game on their trip and they looked as fresh as ever. Credit Don Hay, the Giants head coach knows how to get the most out of his players. After the game Don said to me as he was leaving "boy, I guess we had some jump and energy after all eh?" I told him I was impressed to which he replied, " yeah our guys take a lot of pride in that." It was a follow-up conversation to our pre-game show interview in which we talked about the road weary team coming in for their final game of the swing.

I hope the Broncos took note of that. The way they played against the Giants and vice-versa was how you have to play every night in this league if you want to be an elite team.

My first look at Casey Pierro-Zabotel was impressive. He was the best player Saturday night in all situations. I was very impressed, what a pick-up for the Giants out of the BCJHL.

There were several good Bronco efforts too... pretty much the entire team bought in and elevated their play. Dale Wiese and Erik Felde flew in hard on the fore-check and dished out several big hits throughout the game. Spencer McAvoy was doing a great job up front as was Cody Eakin. Eakin had one of the biggest hits of the night when he caught up to former teammate R.J. Larochelle in neutral ice and blew him up along the penalty box glass.

"They're the best team in the league for a reason. They're well coached, and they take advantage of every opportunity they get whether that's five-on-five, on the powerplay or shorthanded. I think we had to play a near perfect game tonight...they were definitely on their game. One positive coming out of this is we know where we have to be at to compete at the top of this league"

-Broncos defenseman Bretton Stamler

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