Broncos can't match WHL leading Rockets

Steven Mah
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Visiting Kelowna Rockets come back on Broncos to take over top spot in the Western Hockey League

Swift Current Broncos goaltender Eetu Laurikainen made 40 saves in a 4-2 loss to the visiting Kelowna Rockets. He is pictured turning away Rockets forward Colton Heffley, a Swift Current native, during the second period.

The Swift Current Broncos couldn't match one of Canada's top teams in a 4-2 loss to the visiting Kelowna Rockets Tuesday.

The Broncos earned a late lead on Zac Mackay's shorthanded goal with 5:06 remaining in the third period to break a 1-1 tie but Kelowna replied with three goals over the final 3:18 for their 23rd win in 28 games this season.

Eetu Laurikainen was simple outstanding in the Broncos goal with 40 saves, including 18 saves in the third period alone.

Zack Franko tied the game 2-2 only 1:48 after the Broncos had taken the lead. Ryan Olsen scored a powerplay with 1:08 left on the clock for a 3-2 lead and then hometown kid, Colton Heffley scored into an empty net.

Tanner LeSann had given the Broncos a 1-0 lead in the first period and Tyrell Goulbourne tied it up for Kelowna in the second period.

Jordon Cooke made 24 saves in the Kelowna goal to improve to 17-1-2.

The Broncos struggling powerplay unit finished without a goal on three man-advantages, while Kelowna scored the game-winner on the powerplay as they finished one-for-four. The Rockets had entered the game with the top penalty kill in the WHL at 86.2 percent having allowed a league low 16 goals on 116 attempts.

The Rockets now have the top record in the Western Hockey League at 23-3-0-2. The Broncos fell out of top spot in the Eastern Conference but continue to lead the East Division with a 19-12-0-3 mark.

The Broncos will host another B.C. Division opponent on Thursday when the Victoria Royals visit the Credit Union iplex.

 

Organizations: Swift Current Broncos, Kelowna Rockets, WHL

Geographic location: Swift Current

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