The Swift Current Broncos eliminated the Saskatoon Blades from their list of possible playoff opponents with a 3-2 shootout win over the host Regina Pats Friday.
The Broncos will either play the Calgary Hitmen or Red Deer Rebels in the opening round of the playoffs as the seeding battle comes down to the team’s final day of the regular season.
Swift Current will need a win over Regina and a Saskatoon Blades win in regulation over the Prince Albert Raiders on Saturday to pass the Raiders for fifth in the Eastern Conference to earn a playoff date with Red Deer Rebels. Any other scenario would mean a first-round match-up with Calgary.
The Broncos fell behind 2-0 in Regina on first-period powerplay goals from Marc McCoy and Lane Scheidl.
Adam Lowry scored his 45th goal of the season in the second period and Richard Nedomlel sent it to overtime with his seventh goal with 2:48 remaining in regulation.
The six-player shootout needed four extra shooters as only Adam Lowry and Kyle Burroughs scored in the opening six attempts.
Graham Black scored for the Broncos to put them ahead but Connor Gay answered right back for Regina. Coda Gordon scored a second straight goal for Swift Current and Morgan Klimchuk was unable to beat Eetu Laurikainen to end the shootout.
Laurikainen made 18 saves on 20 shots to improve to 29-23-2-4. Matt Hewitt stopped 30 shots in the shootout loss.
The Broncos remain sixth in the Eastern Conference with a 35-29-3-4 record, two points back of Prince Albert for fifth. Regina dropped to 11th with a 25-37-4-5 record.
The Broncos are now 6-0-1-0 against the Pats this season with all seven games decided by one goal, three games were decided in overtime in addition to Friday’s shootout.
The Broncos finished 16-17-1-2 on the road this season as they improved to 23-8-3-3 against the East Division.
The two teams will finish up the regular season back in Swift Current on Saturday on Fan Appreciation Night with a large crowd expected at the Credit Union iplex.
Bronco bits: Forward Dakota Odgers played his first game with the team since October 13, 2012 after being recalled at the conclusion of his season with the Yorkton AAA Midget Harvest. The 16-year-old finished with a plus-one rating in the win.