The Broncos will try to end a five-game slide tomorrow night when they host the Seattle Thunderbirds. Seattle comes in playing pretty well as they play their final game of their east division road swing. Seattle has picked up wins in Regina and Brandon on this trip and lost a couple of close ones in Prince Albert and Saskatoon. First things first, Seattle plays in Moose Jaw tonight.
What goes around comes around in the WHL. The Broncos finished off their U.S. swing in Seattle last year in what was for me the low light of the regular season. A mentally and physically tired Broncos club limped into Seattle and lost 8-3 in the final game before the Christmas break.
Now Seattle will finish their six game swing in Swift Current and the Broncos have a chance at a little payback. I'm thinking the Broncos have other things to worry about than payback though. Focus will be on their own game and trying to right the ship.
That's one way to put the Broncos/Blades game Sunday. After a four goal outburst in the first eight minutes, the Blades rallied back and eventually won 6-5.
A pair of shorthanded goals closed the gap and then the Blades added two PP goals in the third.
Make no mistake, the Broncos effort from some of their players wasn't there. But you could also chalk some of it up to a series of unfortunate events.
Numerous times on the PK the team failed to clear the zone when they had uncontested opportunities. The back-breaker (literally) came when Keegan Dansereau's clearing attempt on the PK hit teammate Matt Tassone right in the back along the wall near the line. The puck stayed in and the Blades eventually scored.
Also, with the Broncos down a man, two players (Toulmin, McAvoy) both had their sticks broken in the defensive zone putting the Broncos down to only two players with sticks on the ice. The Blades scored the eventual game winner in that sequence.
A positive for me was the play of Keegan Dansereau. The Broncos sniper had a first period to remember scoring twice and setting up the nicest Bronco goal of the year with a behind the back spin pass to Geordie Wudrick in the slot. You will see that in Friday's WHL Plays of the Week. If not, check out the highlights on the Saskatoon Blades website.
The push to get Broncos D Eric Doyle a spot on Team WHL for the ADT Canada/Russia Challenge is gaining some momentum. The WHL Office knows about the local "push" from this blog.
The numbers and his play speak for themselves. Eric doesn't need my help. I just think adding him would give our fans a bit of a treat with some local content for next Wednesday's game. Plus, Eric deserves it. He's tied for the league lead in defenseman scoring and his been strong in his own zone all season long.
The decision lies with Hockey Canada. Don't hold your breath. But for me the move is a no-brainer.
Still expecting Jesse Dudas at some point this week. He could resume practice shortly with the team as he comes off his torn MCL injury.
Dudas is getting a bunch of inquiries from around the league in a top four defenseman starved market. Not sure what it will take to pry Dudas from the Broncos but there are some offers coming in.
We will let this play out over the next two to three weeks.