The Swift Current Broncos are Central Division Champions after a 6-3 win over the Red Deer Rebels on Wednesday night at the InnovationPlex.

Broncos Interim Head Coach Taras McEwen said he’s proud of the team, especially the players who have been through it all with the team.

“They’ve gone through a lot of ups and downs and obviously this season we’ve been battled tested,” McEwen said. “After the trades we had a little stint there, a three-game losing streak, not too many people would have said we would be able to pass Medicine Hat or do this.”

While the Broncos got the victory, it wasn’t the best start as the Broncos gave up the first goal to Sam Drancak of the Rebels on the powerplay. The Broncos were outshot 17-8 in the first period, but the Broncos did score with less than a minute to go in the first as Clarke Caswell capitalized on a breakaway to make it 1-1 after 1.

In the second, the Broncos took the lead for the first time in the game as Ryan McCleary scored his 11th to make it 2-1, and that’s as close as the Rebels would get the rest of the way.

Mathew Ward and Josh Filmon scored 18 seconds apart in the third period to extend the lead to 4-1 before the teams exchanged goals the rest of the way. Talon Brigley scored for Red Deer before Connor Gabriel restored the three-goal lead for the Broncos. Jhett Larson made it 5-3 with just over three minutes to play in the third, but Connor Hvidston would add an empty netter to end things for the Broncos.

The Broncos powerplay was 0-for-4, while the penalty kill was 2-for-4. Reid Dyck stopped 30 of 33 shots he faced in the game, including 23 of 24 through 40 minutes.

The Broncos have now earned a division banner for the first time since 2001, the coach that year, was Taras McEwen’s father, Brad, who was in the building on Wednesday night. Taras called it a pretty special moment.

“Crazy that he was the last one to do it and yeah, obviously we’ll celebrate this here for the rest of the week and get down to business,” he said. “But yeah, just obviously very special to share it with my family and the other coaches as well.”

The Broncos head into the final weekend of the regular season with the second seed in the first round but still await their opponent. They take on Calgary in a home-and-home set on Friday and Saturday.