WHL Admits Game 4 Mistake

broncos hitmen glove passBrooks Macek (11) makes the glove pass on Tuesday's winning goal (photo from scbroncos.com)

The Western Hockey League has acknowledged the controversial goal that ended game 4 between the Swift Current Broncos and the Calgary Hitmen came after a glove pass and shouldn't have counted.

However, the league added the play was not reviewable under the current video review rules.

Calgary forward Brooks Macek gloved the puck down into the Swift Current crease and Victor Rask knocked it in for the winning goal in a 1-0 game on Tuesday. The victory gave Calgary a commanding lead in the best of seven first round series against the Broncos.

The admission from the league doesn't provide much comfort to the Broncos.

“They acknowledged the mistake it's nice coming from the league,” said Broncos Coach/GM Mark Lamb. “Which is good but it means nothing. It's a game that we have to get over. We have to move on. It's 3-1 for them, we have to play better and that's the bottom line.”

The Broncos have to win to stay alive and force a game 6 on Saturday in Swift Current. Both teams will be looking for an edge after an incredibly tight game 4.

“It was so even,” Lamb said. “The chances, the shots... it was unbelievable hot tight that game and how well played... the bottom line is we've got to find a way to get that extra goal and win a hockey game.”

The edge might not be obvious until the puck drops in game 5.

“What we're doing well we have to percentage wise do all of that better,” Lamb said. “We've got to compete harder, we've got to try to get more power plays. Our power play has been pretty good but we've got to get it out there more.”

“We've got to find an edge somewhere. Right now I don't know where that edge could be. We've got to find it within the game. After the game starts there's always little areas where you can find a weakness. Right now it's been so solid. It's the team that's not going to make the mistakes, the turnovers, the little plays...”

Three of the four games in the series have gone to overtime so far. The Broncos will now have to win twice in Calgary to advance to the next round.

“You've got to take it one game at a time,” Lamb said. “We haven't won a game in here. We've played well and lost so we haven't played well enough.”

“Momentum is everything in playoffs. You've got to create doubt... they don't want to go back to Swift Current and we've got to put that doubt in their mind early.”

The Broncos are now the lone Saskatchewan based team left in the WHL playoffs. Both the Prince Albert Raiders and Saskatoon Blades were swept in the first round by the Red Deer Rebels and Medicine Hat Tigers respectively.

You can hear game 5 on The Eagle 94.1 FM with The New Pioneer Co-op Home Centre Broncos Hockey at 6:30pm.

Game 6 if necessary would be Saturday night in Swift Current.

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