The Broncos depart this afternoon for a tough road swing in a very crucial part of the season.
Tonight it's Lethbridge, then Cranbrook tomorrow for a date with the Ice. Two very tough places to win, but the Broncos can take comfort in the fact they've won in both barns already this season (3-1 in Lethbridge and 1-0 in Kootenay).
The Broncos, Brandon and Moose Jaw all share 2nd spot in the east division just three points back of Regina. The Pats have a lay-up on home ice against Edmonton while Brandon plays in Saskatoon where the Blades have been playing their best hockey of the season lately. Moose Jaw heads up to Prince Albert to take on the Raiders who are 5-5 in their last 10 games.
Dale Wiese could also be back in the line-up tonight after missing nearly a month with a shoulder injury. That's a big boost to the team who played pretty well without him going 6-2-1-1 in the 10 game stretch. If he's good to go as planned, he'll be our guest tonight on the pre-game show.
The Hurricanes are in the midst of their own playoff race for the top seed in the Eastern Conference as they attempt to reel in Calgary. The 'Canes have lost two in a row for the first time since the Christmas break. It's their first home game in 16 nights after five straight on the road.
"We're certainly doing our part as far as making it difficult on the teams ahead of us. At least with games against Lethbridge and Kootenay we know we can reel somebody in with a win and pull them closer. Those are positive things and will be big challenges for us this weekend and those two teams could be first round match-ups for us as any of these games could be. So they're important on a number of different levels." - Assistant Coach Tim Kehler
Personally I love heading back to Lethbridge to where I got my radio start. Two years of college and a couple hundred "AAA" midget and "AA" bantam hockey broadcasts on the local Shaw TV station. I remember when I got a chance to do a Hurricanes game for the first time on Shaw and thought life couldn't get any better. It was the Hurricanes and the Regina Pats back in the spring of 1999. I still have the old VHS tape. I was awful. Good thing the smooth pipes of Dan Vernon (Plaster) of the River 107FM was there for color commentary. I still see Dan from time-to-time in Regina where he now works for Global TV.
Tonight on the pre-game we will have a special look at overtime. The Broncos have a league-leading seven wins courtesy 4-on-4 OT. We will recap some of those games and talk to the players who scored the big game winner. Pre-game show at 7:30, play-by-play at 8pm on the Eagle 94.1 FM.
What are the chances?
The Edmonton Oil Kings are in Regina tonight to play the Pats. The Oil Kings are no doubt the favorite team if you ask the Broncos, Warriors and Wheat Kings.
Looking for a favour? Don't count on it. The Oil Kings haven't beaten an Eastern Conference team since January 30th and have lost 7 of their last 8 outings.
Maybe Steve Pleau and Rocky Thompson can rally the boys at the Brandt Center tonight. Go Kings!
Have a great weekend,