Broncos defeat Moose Jaw 3-1 to pass Kootenay for fifth in the Eastern Conference
Swift Current Broncos - Light It Up
The Swift Current Broncos finished their regular season on a four-game winning streak to move into fifth spot in the Eastern Conference. They defeated the host Moose Jaw Warriors 3-1 Saturday to clinch a playoff date with the Medicine Hat Tigers.
The Broncos led 2-0 on first-period goals from Jay Merkley and Coda Gordon. Merkley netted his 34th of the season 5:33 into regulation and Gordon scored his 26th of the season on the powerplay midway through the period.
Jack Rodewald cut the lead to 2-1 with a goal with 19 seconds left in the first period before a scoreless second period.
Nathan Burns added an insurance goal in the third period as he and Gordon both finished with a goal and an assist.
Eetu Laurikainen finished with 29 saves to conclude the season with a 25-20-1-5 record. Justin Paulic made 31 saves to finish with a 12-29-3-5 record.
The Broncos finished the regular season with a 38-25-3-6 record. They passed Kootenay for fifth when the Ice lost to the Calgary Hitmen to set up a playoff series between the Central Division rivals.
Moose Jaw finished well out of the playoffs, 10th in the conference with a 21-41-3-6.
The Broncos will open the playoffs Friday and Saturday in Medicine Hat. Games three and four will be played Tuesday and Wednesday in Swift Current. Game five, if necessary, will be Saturday in Medicine Hat. Game six would be Sunday in Swift Current and game seven would be Tuesday back in Medicine Hat.
The two teams split the four-game season series with each team winning on the road and at home. The two teams last met in the playoffs in 2009 when the Tigers eliminated the Broncos in seven games from the first round.
The Tigers are currently five points ahead of the Broncos and have won five more games this season. They have allowed the fourth fewest goals in the WHL this season with 194 goals against, 35 less than the Broncos allowed.