The Swift Current Broncos (31-32-1-3) have a chance to clinch a playoff berth in the final game of the regular season after downing the Medicine Hat Tigers (29-29-8-1) 3-1 at the InnovationPlex Friday night.
The Broncos received three power plays in the first period and came close to scoring on two of them. On their second man advantage, Josh Filmon was denied off a one timer from between the circles before Mathew Ward was also turned aside by Beckett Langkow on the rebound, keeping the game scoreless nearly the halfway mark of the first.
Swift Current opened up the scoring 11:08 into the game. The Tigers appeared to have control of the puck in their own zone before Josh Filmon swooped in, stole it away from the Tigers and quickly snapped a shot under the glove of Beckett Langkow for his 46th of the season.
Brady Birnie nearly doubled the Broncos lead on their third power play as he fired a rebound chance on goal from the left circle, hitting the goal post on the glove side of Langkow.
Caleb Wyrostok then had a shorthanded breakaway in the final minute of the period but was stopped trying to sneak a shot through the fivehole of Langkow. The Broncos carried their 1-0 lead into the intermission, outshooting the Tigers 12-6.
The Broncos fired 12 more shots on Langkow in the second period with a number of those being high-quality chances. That included a pair of partial breakaways for Josh Davies, two snap shots by Sam McGinley off the rush and a blast by Mason Ward with a heavy screen in front.
Despite all the great looks, the Broncos still led just 1-0 heading into the second intermission as the Tigers outshot the Broncos 14-12 in the middle frame.
Swift Current finally got their insurance marker 4:45 into the third, off another turnover by the Tigers. Cayden Lindstrom tried a backhand pass across the Tiger blue line that was picked off by Wyrostok, who skated down the side before wiring a shot past the blocker of Langkow for his 23rd of the season.
After receiving five power plays to just one penalty kill through two periods, the Broncos faced a 1:26 long five-on-three kill halfway through the final period. Gavin McKenna hit the crossbar twice, but the Tigers were unable to take advantage and cut the Broncos lead in half.
Wyrostok took off on another shorthanded breakaway after the Broncos got through the first penalty and was slashed by Bogdans Hodass, awarding Wyrostok a shorthanded penalty shot.
Wyrostok swung out to the left before cutting back to the middle and sliding a shot through the fivehole of Langkow for his second of the night, putting the Broncos up 3-0 with 7:44 to play.
Medicine Hat got a goal back as McKenna took a centring feed from behind the Broncos net and outwaited Reid Dyck before tucking in his fourth of the season with 6:20 to play.
That was as close as the Tigers would come as the Broncos fended off the late push with the goaltender out for the extra attacker, sealing the 3-1 win.
The Broncos can now clinch a playoff berth with a regulation win Saturday night in Medicine Hat. An overtime or shootout win would force a tiebreaker game in Swift Current next week, while a Tigers win of any kind will clinch a playoff berth for them.
You can catch Saturday's game live on the Eagle 94.1 FM with Living Sky Casino Broncos Hockey starting at 6:30pm and the face-off from Co-op Place at 7:00pm.
Announced attendance was 2,569.