Broncos’ rookie netminder Joel Hofer stopped 30-shots for his first career shutout and Josh Anderson scored against his former team. Tyler Steenbergen and Matteo Gennaro also scored for the Broncos, who won their third straight game.
Despite the loss, Tavin Grant was sharp in goal, kicking out 36 of 40 shots fired his way. Tuesday was the fourth time the Cougars have been shutout this season and it was their first shutout loss since December 17.
Grant was excellent early, as the Broncos pushed the pace in the first 10-minutes and his best stop in the opening frame came off of Giorgio Estephan. A pass came out of the corner and right to Estephan on the doorstep, but Grant lunged to his left and made a terrific glove save to keep it scoreless.
Swift Current broke the scoreless deadlock 13-minutes into the game, as it was Tyler Steenbergen perfectly redirecting Glenn Gawdin’s pass from the wall over the shoulder of Grant on the blocker-side.
Brogan O’Brien arguably had the Cougars’ best chance in the first period, as he found himself open in the slot after walking in from the right-wing, but his wrist-shot just missed high on the glove-side.
Josh Maser was inches away from tying it up in the second, as he had a burst of speed down the left-wing, but he rang his wrist-shot off the post on the far side.
Swift Current added to their lead late in the middle frame, as Gennaro scored on the power-play inside the final two-minutes. With half a minute left on the man-advantage, Gennaro wheeled into the middle, and from the top of the face-off circles, fired a dart over Grant’s glove and underneath the cross-bar at 18:20.
The Broncos added to their lead midway through the third period, when Max Patterson redirected Colby Sissons point-shot. Sissons moved to the middle of the blue-line, before leaning into a wrist-shot, that Patterson redirected down, which snuck under Grant’s blocker arm at 10:02.
Former Cougars defenceman Josh Anderson added to the Broncos lead not even two-minutes later. On another power-play, Anderson broke down the middle of the zone and took a pass from the wing but was stopped by Grant’s who kicked out his leg. However, Anderson had the rebound come right back to him and he quickly shoveled it in underneath Grant at 11:46; his first goal since December 1st, when he was still a member of the Cougars.
Despite doubling their shot total from the first two periods in the third, the Cougars couldn’t get any of their 20 third period hots past Hofer.
FINAL SCORE: 4-0 Broncos
Shots: 40-30 Broncos
Power-Plays: Cougars 0-5 Broncos 2-7
Three Stars: 1) Colby Sissons 2) Josh Anderson 3) Joel Hofer
The Cougars (18-25-4-4) continue their road trip Wednesday, as they make a stop in the Queen City, to face the Memorial Cup hosts, Regina Pats. It’s the first and only meeting of the regular season between the two teams, and it’s the first time Jesse Gabrielle and Jonas Harkins will face their former team. Fans can listen to the game on 94.3 The GOAT, or watch online via WHL Live starting at 5 p.m.
-Prince George Cougars