Saturday night at the Innovation Credit Union iPlex started with a sold out crowd standing for a ceremony honouring Tyler Steebergen, Aleksi Heponiemi and Artyom Minulin's World Junior performance and resulted in fans standing again and again to cheer a 9-1 win over Edmonton.
“It was really good everyone was going and everyone was working hard,” said Tanner Nagel. “There's a bunch of great guys here so I think everyone is mixing together. We're having a lot of fun so that's good.”
Nine different players scored goals and fourteen different players had points in the offensive explosion from a new look Broncos roster. That includes Glenn Gawdin, Aleksi Heponiemi, Artyom Minulin, Matteo Gennaro, Max Patterson, Tanner Nagel, Giorgio Estephan, Kole Gable and Beck Malenstyn.
Estephan, Nagel and Andrew Fyten all had their first points in a Broncos uniform after a trade this week.
“It's a little early to tell but they seem to get it,” said Broncos Associate Coach Ryan Smith. “The guys that have been here understand what we're trying to create, and the guys who have been here the last week... they want to be part of something special. In order to do that everyone has to buy in. So far so good.”
Gawdin and Heponiemi had three point games, while Steenbergen and Fyten each had two assists on the night.
Stuart Skinner had another strong game with 20 stops on 21 Oil Kings shots and he has only allowed one goal in his two games with the Broncos.
“We charted four really good opportunities in the first period point blank,” Smith said. “He was there standing tall. We played around with the puck a little too much and didn't direct enough shots towards them. They had some opportunities early and it could have been a different game if they scored on one of those.”
Nagel got a chance to play with Steenbergen and Gawdin and delivered a goal and an assist.
“They're unbelievable hockey players,” Nagel said. “It's an honour playing with them so it's really nice.”
In addition to his offence he was playing a hard, physical game for the Broncos on the night. That's part of what the Broncos were hoping to get from him, Fyten and Josh Anderson.
“With players like that in our lineup now they create some opportunities for the other guys,” Smith said. “Some space. They're hard guys to play against. They're hard to handle, they're physical and tough... they really fit in really well with what they're doing.”
The Broncos have now won four straight and have points in each of their last six games. Swift Current moves to 31-10-3-0 and after Moose Jaw's loss in Prince Albert are eight points back of the Warriors for top spot in the WHL with a game in hand.
Up next is a trip to the US Division with five games in seven days.
“It's a really good division,” Nagel said. “We're going to have to come and work had because all the teams out there work really hard.”
The trip starts Wednesday against the Tri-City Americans.