Swift Current Broncos (6) at Moose Jaw Warriors (0)
Swift Current wins series 4-3
For the first time since the 2001 WHL Playoffs, the Swift Current Broncos are headed back to the Eastern Conference Championship. To get there, they put on a dominating performance against their Trans-Canada rivals, the Moose Jaw Warriors, to the tune of a 6-0 victory at Mosaic Place Monday.
Broncos captain Glenn Gawdin (Calgary Flames) led the way with a pair of goals and four points while defenceman Colby Sissons (New Jersey Devils) added the game-winning goal and two assists. A pair of assists from Aleksi Heponiemi (Florida Panthers) and a goal and an assist from Tyler Steenbergen rounded out the multi-point performance from the Broncos in the series-deciding contest.
While the offence reigned supreme for the Broncos, it was their goaltender Stuart Skinner (Edmonton Oilers), who proved to be the most valuable once again, shutting out the Warriors at Mosaic Place in the final three of the four road games for the Broncos in the series. Monday, he stopped all 25 shots directed his way, finishing with 101 saves on 105 shots at Mosaic Place during the series.
After both teams traded some barbs to begin the contest, defenceman Colby Sissons (New Jersey Devils) fired the puck from the point through a maze of bodies and past Brody Willms for the opening goal.
Then, with 35 seconds left to go in the period, Heponiemi found Gawdin with a beautiful pass down low, which the overage forward wasted no time in burying past Willms to double his team’s lead after 20 minutes.
The Broncos continued to score at will in the second as another sharp pass led to the third Broncos goal. This time, it was the first goal scorer Sissons finding Steenbergen up ice with a solid pass, turning the matchup into a one-on-one. Steenbergen skated in on the wing with the puck and space, wiring the puck with a beautiful shot past Willms for the visitors’ third goal of the game.
Gawdin’s second goal of the game came 78 seconds after Steenbergen’s goal to add more to the home side’s woes. Gawdin remained behind the Warriors’ defence during a change, took another strong pass from Sissons, came in on a partial breakaway and converted to make it 4-0.
Goals from Giorgio Estephan and Max Patterson featured in the third to widen the gap between the two clubs. Andrew Fyten added a single assist in the contest.
Brody Willms stopped 32 shots in his team’s final game of the season. Defenceman Josh Brook (Montreal Canadiens) led the Warriors with four shots in the contest.
The Broncos will now advance to face the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Championship.
#WHLPlayoffs schedule for Friday, April 20
Game 1 – Lethbridge Hurricanes at Swift Current Broncos – 7:00 p.m. MT (Series tied 0-0)
Game 1 – Tri-City Americans at Everett Silvertips – 7:35 p.m. PT (Series tied 0-0)