A lot of good things happened in Saskatoon tonight.
The Broncos put forth a solid 60 minute game and finally found a way to beat one of the league’s top teams.
Matt Tassone and Taylor Vause scored back-to-back goals in the third period to down the east division leading Saskatoon Blades 2-1 on a night where the Broncos showed no ill-effects of playing their third game in as many nights.
G Travis Yonkman was good when he had to be. He recorded 23 saves and took a step in returning to the form we’ve been accustomed to. He was especially good in the opening five minutes as the Blades looked to take advantage early with lots of energy.
The Broncos trailed 1-0 after 40 minutes thanks in large part to a stellar Brayden Holtby in the Blades goal who had made some great saves to keep the Broncos off the board.
The game changed in the Broncos favour early in the third when D Ryan Molle was checked hard from behind while going back to retrieve a puck. A major penalty/game misconduct was assessed to the Blades Gaelan Patterson in what then set off a strange sequence of events.
Molle, who was down on the ice in pain for 15 seconds, got up to his feet and slowly made his way to the Broncos bench. En route, it appeared Adam Chorneyko said something to Molle which then prompted him to go after Chorneyko,
The two had a bit of a scrap and Molle was assessed an instigator penalty. The Broncos scored in the 4-on-4 with Matt Tassone’s team leading 32nd. They then added a PP goal once the Molle minor was over to go up 2-1,
Taylor Vause deflected home the PP game winner – just like he did the night before against the Red Deer Rebels back at the I-plex.
The Broncos played a smart final 16 minutes and only allowed four shots in the third period for the 2-1 win.
It was a solid effort on the road and a big two points to move into a tied for 4th with the idle Medicine Hat Tigers.
In the last seven games, the Broncos have collected 11 out of a possible 14 points.
More importantly, for the first time since the Christmas break, they beat a team higher in the standings.
They are now 4-3 against the division leading Blades on the season and will host them one more time next weekend to wrap up the eight game set.
It’s into Regina Wednesday. The Broncos would like nothing more to contribute to the Pats recent slide into 10th in the Conference. Word is D John Negrin should be ready to play in that contest if he keeps progressing well.
More on the Broncos/Pats match-up in the coming days. There’s plenty of storylines shaping up in that one.