The sky appears to be the limit for Tyler Steenbergen.
He scored four goals in a game for the third time this season and reached the 20-goal mark in only 10 games as the Swift Current Broncos beat Lethbridge 6-4 tonight.
It all appears to be clicking for Steenbergen as a goal scorer right now.
“A combination of everything,” said Broncos Head Coach/Director of Player Personnel Manny Viveiros. “The speed. He's got a release right now that is an NHL release in how quick it is and it's accurate. I think out of those 20 goals maybe two are slap shots the rest are quick wrist shots. He's got a knack for where to be in a good position to find those goals and Heponiemi and Gawdin will find him.”
Steenbergen, Aleksi Heponiemi and Glenn Gawdin combined for 13 points on the night. Heponiemi had a goal and three assists, while Gawdin added four helpers.
“I don't know what to say anymore,” Viveiros said. “They're really good our there right now offensively. I've got to stress even more so these guys defensively they're responsible. One of Steenbergen's goals Heponiemi made a back check in the neutral zone and we scored right after that. Just little things that a lot of people don't see what they do in the defensive zone to get out of the zone. They don't spend a whole lot of time in the d-zone because they're committed to play a good 200-foot game.”
After a pretty tentative start, Gawdin set Sahvan Khaira up midway through the first period on a delayed penalty for the opening goal. Khaira fired a nice shot off the crossbar and in for his second goal of the season.
Jordy Bellerive responded less than a minute later for Lethbridge as a Ryan Vandervlis shot banked off the glass behind the Swift Current net and Bellerive banged home a backhand shot.
Steenbergen then struck for his first of the night in the final minute of the period when Heponiemi forced a neutral zone turnover and Artyom Minulin got Steenbergen the puck for a rush down the left wing.
Heponiemi scored his 6th of the season on a second period power play when his centering pass deflected in off a Hurricanes defender. Steenbergen's second of the game then came after Gawdin knocked a puck out of mid-air to create an odd-man rush and put the Broncos up 4-1.
“I thought we played a really good road game,” “We knew it was a going to be a tough night and they were going to come after us. I thought for the most part we stuck to our game and scored at timely times. I thought we had a real opportunity to open up the game and had some opportunities later on to break the game open even more. We made a couple mistakes, but still coming into a tough building like this against a good hockey team I thought our boys really responded well.”
The Hurricanes didn't go away as Dylan Cozens cut the lead to 4-2 on a Lethbridge power play. Steenbergen again scored in the final minute of the second period as he ripped home another wrist shot to score his third hat trick of the season and give the Broncos a 5-2 lead after forty minutes.
Lethbridge again cut Swift Current's lead to two goals with a Zane Franklin power play goal midway through the third period. Steenbergen responded a gain for Swift Current and hit the 20-goal mark with his fourth goal of the night.
Bellerive rounded out the scoring for Lethbridge with his second of the game in the final minute of the game.
Logan Flodell made 31 saves to earn his eighth consecutive win since joining the Broncos at the trade deadline.
Swift Current went 2 for 2 on their power play, while Lethbridge went 2 for 3.
The Broncos moved to 9-1-0-0 on the season with the win and are 6-0 on the road. They head to Cranbrook on Saturday night to play a Kootenay Ice club that lost 11-1 in Medicine Hat tonight.
“They lost big tonight so for them it's a game where they've got to show up and more or less save face,” Viveiros said. “We expect tomorrow night to be an even more difficult game than it is tonight.”
You can hear the game on The Eagle 94.1 FM with Robertson Family Group Broncos Hockey at 6:30pm.