Last night's game was a highly entertaining tilt between a Broncos hockey club who is playing well right now, and a Raiders team making a push to get into a playoff position.
The Raiders impressed me. They didn't make any huge mistakes and should be proud of their effort. In the post-game coaches show, both myself and Dean Chynoweth agreed it was the best effort we've seen from the Raiders in the four games head-to-head.
The Broncos played hard too and for most of the night couldn't solve goaltender Steven Stanford. It was Matt Tassone's pp goal 6:07 into the third period that got the Broncos on the board to cut the lead in half 2-1.
Justin Dowling tied it midway through and it looked like the teams were headed to overtime. That was until the Raiders Ryan Macdonald capitilized on a Broncos turnover and scored his third of the night with 4:01 to play.
Macdonald added an empty-netter to puncuate a career night with a four goal outing. The Broncos held a slight shot advantage 34-31.
The Broncos can't really hang their heads in this one. They played hard and played well enough to win. I'll credit the Raiders for being a team realizing they need to string together some wins in order to battle for a final playoff spot.
If they continue to play the way they did last night, I would be willing to bet they will get in. They have a huge game tomorrow afternoon in Regina against a struggling, short-staffed Pats team.
I was doing some game prep last night and put together some numbers. The Broncos record for the calendar year of 2008 would be 46-25-1-2 in 74 regular season games.
The club also advanced past the first round of playoffs since 2002.
2008 was good to the Broncos and 2009 has the potential to be even better.
Have a Happy New Year everyone!