Broncos salvage one point in OT loss to Victoria Royals

Steven Mah
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The Swift Current Broncos erased a 3-0 deficit but lost in overtime to the visiting Victoria Royals Thursday

Dillon Heatherington

The Swift Current Broncos erased a disastrous opening 3:35 to nullify a 3-0 deficit but settled for a single point in a 4-3 overtime loss to the visiting Victoria Royals Thursday.

The Broncos spotted the Royals a 3-0 lead when they hung goaltender Landon Bow out to dry with poor defensive zone coverage and the Royals capitalized for three goals on their first four shots. Ben Walker, Tyler Soy, and Steven Hodges all scored for Victoria during the outburst. Bow was pulled after the third goal and replaced by Eetu Laurikainen, who stopped all five shots he faced the rest of the period.

"I just don't think that we were prepared enough before the game," said Broncos veteran Jay Merkley. "I think maybe since they had a couple of their key guys out we might have taken them lightly, I don't know."

The Broncos replied with a powerplay goal from Julius Honka to make it 3-1 after one period.

Bow returned in net for the start of the second period and performed admirably, stopping 21 shots over the final 40 minutes.

After a scoreless second period, the Broncos got goals from Glenn Gawdin and Jay Merkley to send the game to overtime.

Towering forward Axel Blomquist completed a three-point outing with the overtime winner when a high shot rebounded off the end glass and back over the net, hitting Blomquist and rolling over the goal line 3:31 into the extra period.

Patrik Polivka earned the win for Victoria with 29 saves on 32 shots.

"I think we are definitely disappointed," said Merkley. "They were up 3-0 within three or four minutes there. Yeah it is good that we came back and it shows that we are never going to give up, but by no means was that a good game by our hockey team. We definitely need to improve."

The Broncos dropped to 19-12-1-3 with their first overtime loss but continue to lead the East Division. Victoria improved to 21-13-0-1 and moved into fourth in the Western Conference.

The Broncos will be on the road this weekend to visit the Kootenay Ice and the Calgary Hitmen.

Organizations: Swift Current Broncos, WHL

Geographic location: Swift Current

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