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The Swift Current Broncos have had one of the league's best records with a third period lead this season.

That success has come into some question lately as they've given up three third period leads in the last two weeks.

Swift Current couldn't hold a 4-1 lead tonight and fell 5-4 to the Prince Albert Raiders in the shootout.

It was a huge win for the Raiders who are in the midst of a playoff battle with the Saskatoon Blades and Brandon Wheat Kings.

Despite the loss, the Broncos still gained ground on first place Moose Jaw as the Warriors fell 4-2 to Brandon in regulation. Swift Current now sits a point behind Moose Jaw, while the Warriors still have a game in hand.

"I think we were a little bit too complacent," said Broncos forward Giorgio Estephan. "We gave up a couple goals that were self inflicted. We have to show a little bit more desperation in the last little bit with the lead. Those are games that we can't lose. We found a way tonight. We will learn from it. We've had a couple of these so we're going to nip it in the bud for sure."



The Broncos also gave up two goal third period leads in Medicine Hat and Red Deer over the past two weeks.

"It's a similar script to Red Deer and Medicine Hat," said Broncos Associate Coach Ryan Smith. "It's not playing the right way. Just not finishing games off... When teams are down they're going to press and you need to know how to defend. Just keep it simple. We did that at times in the third and then we take a penalty, we don't clear pucks and it falls apart pretty quick.



Estephan led the way for Swift Current with two goals as they built up their 4-1 lead. Matteo Gennaro and Aleksi Heponiemi each had two point games as well.

Swift Current took a 4-2 lead into the third period and had a record of 33-3-2-1 with leads going into the game.

It took the Raiders until the 16:29 mark of the third period to close the gap on a Vojtech Budik power play goal. Jordy Stallard tied the game on a deflection with the Prince Albert net empty.

Estephan hit a crossbar in overtime though neither team was able to convert.

Swift Current took the in the shootout on a Gennaro goal, but Regan Nagy and Parker Kelly ultimately gave Prince Albert the victory.

Swift Current took six more penalties in the game and gave up two power play goals. They have been shorthanded 285 times this season, more than anyone in the WHL but Victoria and Calgary.

"You've got to watch your sticks and you've got to be aware of how the refs are calling it," Smith said. "In the back of your mind you want to understand the situation game management... we need to get better at that. We're taking too many penalties."

The Broncos still won the season series with the Raiders 6-2.

Prince Albert's win pulls them two points ahead of Saskatoon for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Both teams have eight games left to play.

Swift Current is back in action on Saturday night against Brandon. They will be wearing special Don Cherry themed jerseys that will be auctioned of to raise money for the Kidney Foundation of Canada.

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