Broncos victimized by Cougars

Steven Mah
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A large crowd in Swift Current was let down by a 6-2 loss to the visiting Prince George Cougars

Nathan Burns

The Swift Current Broncos were victimized by an opportunistic Prince George Cougars team in a 6-2 loss Saturday. The Cougars beat a pair of Broncos goaltenders for six goals on 30 shots and Adam Beukeboom made 38 saves to help knock the Broncos out of top spot in the East Division.

The Broncos trailed 3-2 after one period on goals from Colby Cave and Nathan Burns. Starting netminder Eetu Laurikainen was pulled after 16:44 after allowing three goals on 13 shots.

The turning point came in the second period when the Broncos allowed a goal off the stick of Troy Bourke with less than two seconds remaining on the clock to trail 4-2  heading into the third period despite outshooting the visitors 33-20 at the time.

Prince George poured it on with two goals in the third period to seal their fourth consecutive win to finish their East Division road trip with a 4-2 record. Landon Bow finished with 14 saves on 17 shots for the Broncos, who lost in regulation for the first time in six games.

"We had a real solid first 10 minutes," explained defenseman Dillon Heatherington. "Then we got complacent, took them too lightly, and for the last 50 minutes or so they took advantage of that and we had six goals scored on us. That can't be happening and we have to deal with that."

Bourke and Klarc Wilson both had two goals for the Cougars, while Zach Pochiro and Jordan Tkatch added singles.

The loss spoiled an exciting evening for the Broncos with 2,475 fans in attendance, a number boosted by the presence of five members of the Grey Cup champion Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Grey Cup trophy itself.

"We started off and had a good start," added forward Coda Gordon. "We let ourselves off and I think we didn't take them seriously and they kind of took it to us. In the second period we played great, we just started getting selfish and let ourselves down in the third period."

The Broncos fell to fifth in the Eastern Conference with a 26-19-2-6 record. Prince George remains ninth in the Western Conference with a 22-26-2-5 record.

The Broncos will play their next three games on the road beginning Tuesday when they visit the Prince Albert Raiders.

Organizations: Swift Current Broncos, Prince George Cougars, WHL

Geographic location: Prince George, Swift Current

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