Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Broncos’ Steenbergen crushes Raiders hopes of victory

Winger’s 47th goal in final minute lifts Swift Current past P.A.

Raiders G Nicholas Sanders shuts the door on Broncos C Lane Pederson.
    PRINCE ALBERT - Tyler Steenbergen’s 47th goal of the season drove a dagger into a spirited effort by the Prince Albert Raiders.
    Entering play on Tuesday, the Raiders, who have one of the younger rosters in the WHL, sat second last in the league, but they have been on an upswing posting a 10-7-2 record in their previous 19 games. Steenbergen’s Swift Current Broncos had a playoff spot already locked up and were looking to solidify their positioning in the standings.
    In a tightly contest affair at the Art Hauser Centre, the Broncos and Raiders entered the final minute of the third period locked in a 2-2 draw. At that point, Steenbergen broke into the Prince Albert zone and ripped home the winning goal for the visitors top corner glove side on Raiders netminder Ian Scott with 57.9 seconds to play in the frame.
Tyler Steenbergen potted the winning goal for the Broncos.
    Overage winger Ryley Lindgren added an empty-net tally with 17.5 seconds to play to cement a 4-2 win for the Broncos before an announced crowd of 1,886 spectators.
    While the Raiders won’t be part of the WHL playoff picture, Steenbergen said his Broncos spoke about not taking the Prince Albert side lightly.
    “We know they are out of it, but we know they are going to work their hardest to be spoilers,” said Steenbergen. “We knew that coming in.
    “They have been on a little bit of a roll lately, so we wanted to come out hard and play them physical. We know they are a physical team. We pushed back, and we got the outcome we wanted.”
    Steenbergen was both relieved and pumped to net the winning goal.
    “It was awesome,” said Steenbergen. “I had a couple of changes earlier in the game and didn’t quite go in for me.
    “Getting the win in this point in the year that is all we need. Now, we want to clinch that third place spot, so getting that win in regulation was huge for us.”
Parker Kelly scored twice on Tuesday for the Raiders.
    The win allowed the Broncos, who have won five straight, to improve to 35-20-4-5. They sit 12 points ahead of the idle Brandon Wheat Kings (29-27-7-3) for third place in the East Division with a game in hand. Swift Current needs to earn just one more point in the standings to lock up a third place finish.
    In Tuesday’s game, sophomore winger Parker Kelly scored at the 8:57 mark of the opening frame to give the Raiders a 1-0 lead.
    The hosts appeared to go ahead 2-0 crashing into the Swift Current net, but a goal from centre Sean Montgomery was waived due to the officials ruling the puck was kicked in.
    Before the opening frame ended, standout centre Lane Pederson netted his 20th goal of the season for the Broncos to force a 1-1 tie.
    After a scoreless second, the Broncos went ahead 2-1 just pass the midway point of the third, when winger Kaden Elder one-timed home a shot.
    The edge held up for less than three minutes as Kelly potted his second of the contest to force a 2-2 tie. That set the stage for the dramatics in the final minute.
Ian Scott stops a high shot for the Raiders.
    Scott turned away 30-of-33 shots taking the loss in goal for the Raiders, who fell to 18-42-5-2. Backup Nicholas Sanders turned away two shots during a short appearance in the first period, when Scott left the contest to get an equipment issue fixed.
    Jordan Papirny, who was acquired in a trade earlier this season with the Wheat Kings, turned away 33 shots to pick up the win in goal for the Broncos.
    Steenbergen is having a huge season for the Broncos leading the team in scoring with 47 goals and 35 assists.
    The Sylvan Lake, Alta., product said he has received a lot of help in piling up the points.
    “I’ve been getting a lot of good chances,” said Steenbergen. “I have to give credit to my teammates.
    “I am playing with some great players right now in Lindy (Lindgren) and Gawdz (Glenn Gawdin). Before, I played with Hepo (Aleksi Heponiemi) and Peedy (Pederson) too and Elds (Kaden Elder) even.
    “I am playing with great players and they are getting me the puck. I’ve been fortunate enough to put the puck in the net this year.”
    The Broncos appeared destined to face the Moose Jaw Warriors in the opening round of the playoffs.
The Broncos celebrate their win on Tuesday.
    With Papirny having backstopped the Wheat Kings to a WHL title last year, Steenbergen believes his Broncos can make some noise in the post-season, which is about three weeks away.
    “I think we can surprise some people,” said Steenbergen. “We are going to do some damage against Moose Jaw, and hopefully, we keep that up in the second round if we get past Moose Jaw.”

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