The Broncos will now enjoy some days off after a pair of games in Calgary and Red Deer where they managed a point in a 2-1 overtime loss last night in Red Deer.
The Broncos depleted line-up was granted eight powerplays through regulation - they finally scored on their 8th man-advantage to tie the game 1-1 with 3:16 to play on Justin Dowling's 29th.
The Broncos had yet another chance in OT on the PP with a 4-on-3 but couldn't capitalize. Red Deer got a crack on the PP a minute later and made good on a blast by Willie Coetzee for the overtime winner.
The Broncos finished the night with nine powerplay chances to Red Deer's two which had Rebels Head Coach Jesse Wallin fuming post-game on the Rebels post-game show. Here's his quote:
“I bit my tongue before and I’m tired of it. I just see a pattern there with Steve Papp,” Wallin told Red Deer Advocate sports editor Greg Meachem.
“If that’s a nine-penalties-to-two game, then I don’t know . . . I’ve coached in this league for five years and played in the league for four years, and I have never seen a game that one-sided. He’s the same guy who was here a few weeks ago when Prince George was in town (a 3-1 win for Red Deer on Feb. 19 with the power plays eight-to-three in favour of the visitors). I don’t know what his problem is with our team, but at this time of the year it’s really frustrating, really disturbing. I think it’s an absolute joke.”
Both goaltenders were good and factored into the three stars. Morgan Clark for the Broncos made 31 saves while Kraymer Barnstable for the Rebels turned aside 29 shots.
The point turns out to be a big one as the Broncos move a point within 7th with Moose Jaw losing to Brandon 9-2. The Broncos also move six clear of Prince Albert but the Raiders have two games in hand which they will make up tonight in Regina and then Sunday when they host Brandon.
The Broncos played the two-game set without four forwards due to injury. It had the coaching staff come up with a make-shift fourth line which included D Graeme Craig and D Brody Luhning centered by 16 year-old D Josh Derko who made his WHL debut Thursday in Calgary when he played a shift.
The nine regular forwards were taxed big time in the set and days off now will be big to get ready for a key match-up Wednesday in Prince Albert.
Broncos play-off hockey in Regina??
It's possible and it's an option the league has looked into.
If the Broncos can secure a playoff spot, one of the options besides Lethbridge for "home games" in the first round is also Regina.
From what I've been told, the Pats have waived their territorial rights and would allow the Broncos to come in to use the Brandt Center.
This scenario would make sense if the Broncos make the playoffs and meet Brandon in the first round.
Lethbridge continues to be the venue of choice if the first round opponent is Calgary. Not sure what the plan would be if the Broncos were to play Saskatoon.
From the Broncos perspective, they don't even want to talk about it until they have the "x" by their name for a playoff spot. But, you still need to have a plan in place.
Alright, it's a Saturday off for me.... enjoy the action tonight and dare I say Go Pats?