As I put this latest entry together the Broncos bus just slid past the Hitmen convoy on the Transcanada Highway near Medicine Hat around 1am… is it an omen for what’s to come in this series?
The Broncos showed some resolve in game five. Falling behind 2-0 just 2:18 into the first period spelled trouble. The Broncos then rattled off four straight goals in a span of 11 minutes to take the lead for good. Dale Wiese would add his 7th goal of the playoffs into an empty net for the 5-2 win to extend the Broncos season at least another night.
Jesse Dudas got the Broncos going. He jumped into the rush led by Cody Eakin and found a rebound to make it 2-1. Dale Wiese then struck on the powerplay when a juicy rebound found his tape. A few minutes later Levi Nelson out-raced Paul Postma for a puck behind the Hitmen goal and centered for Keegan Dansereau to give the Broncos a lead 16:19 into the 1st. Nineteen seconds later it was Levi showcasing his heavy snapshot as he crossed the Hitmen blueline and lazered the puck shelf for the 4-2 advantage.
Cue back-up goaltender Martin Jones for the 2nd time in this series. Like he did in game three, Jones would come in and play very well.
From there, both teams played a pretty conservative 2nd period to give the Broncos the dreaded two goal lead entering the third.
The Broncos had to weather a storm including five straight Hitmen powerplays and a 5-on-3 for 42 seconds midway through the final frame. Calgary missed several glorious opportunities to pull within a goal but mis-fired. Brock Nixon missed a tap-in when he tried to send home a rolling, bouncing puck.
A late penalty gave Calgary a 6-on-4 with the goalie pulled for the extra attacker. They never got an opportunity. Dale Wiese iced the game with the empty-netter off the next face-off to send the series back to Swift for game six.
Who do the Hitmen start in goal tomorrow? Jones has made two solid relief appearances for Dan Spence. Do you go back Spence or do you give Jones the call? Kelly Kisio I’m sure has already made up his mind.
Tickets go on sale at the I-plex at 9am. Season tickets holders have until 2pm to claim their tickets before they are released to the public. The Broncos are hoping for a sell-out but trying to process nearly 3000 tickets in 10 hours will be a big test. Call the ticket hotline 773 – 1509.
What a nifty format for games five and six. A five hour bus ride home and another game. Four games in five nights. This is junior hockey in its purest form complete with the two team’s busses passing in the night. Is this fun or what?