Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Oh Captain! My Captain! – Gawdin’s hatty delivers Broncos to 3-2 overtime comeback win

Glenn Gawdin’s hat trick delivered the Broncos to victory.
    Glenn Gawdin was “captain clutch” once again for the Swift Current Broncos.
    On Tuesday night at the Angel of the Winds Arena, Gawdin had all three of the Broncos goals including the late third period equalizer and the overtime winner to deliver Swift Current to a 3-2 victory over the host Everett Silvertips in Game 3 of the WHL Championship series. With the overtime win, the Broncos take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
    Game 4 is set for Wednesday at 7 p.m. local time at the Angel of the Winds Arena. The Silvertips also host Game 5 of the series slated for Friday.
    The Silvertips built a 2-1 lead in the first period before 4,872 spectators and that edge help up until late in the third. With the Broncos killing a penalty, Swift Current right-winger Beck Malenstyn and Gawdin, who is the Broncos captain, broke into the Everett zone on a two-on-two rush.
    Malenstyn dropped a pass to Gawdin, who fired a long drive on goal. Silvertips star netminder Carter Hart stopped the long shot, but gave up a big rebound. Gawdin drove to the Everett goal after his first shot and banged home the rebound to force a 2-2 tie with 3:17 to play in the frame.
    Just 2:40 into overtime, Broncos offensive defenceman Colby Sissons fed a pass from the left corner boards in the Everett zone to Gawdin in the high slot. The Richmond, B.C., product fired home the winning goal to the top left corner of the Silvertips goal to give the Broncos their second straight overtime victory of the series.
    On Saturday in Swift Current, the Broncos rallied back from a 3-0 deficit in the first period to post a 4-3 victory in overtime in Game 2 of the WHL title series.
    In Tuesday’s clash, Gawdin gave the Broncos a 1-0 lead at the 14:44 mark of the first period taking a drop pass from linemate Aleksi Heponiemi and firing a shot from the right slot to the top left corner of the Silvertips goal.
    The Silvertips pulled even at 1-1 just 60 seconds later, when centre Riley Sutter tipped home a point shot from defenceman Jake Christiansen. The goal stood up after a video review.
Patrick Bajkov left for the Silvertips dressing room twice on Tuesday.
    With 1:25 remaining in the first, Silvertips captain Matt Fonteyne threw a bad angle shot on the Swift Current goal, and the puck found its way into the net past Broncos goalie Stuart Skinner.
    The scored remained 2-1 in Everett’s favour after 40 minutes thanks to a great diving save by Skinner on a one-timer from Fonteyne in the second period. Fonteyne received a pass from linemate Garrett Pilon from across the front of the Swift Current goal but was unable to drive the puck home.
    That set the stage for Gawdin to complete his hat trick dramatics with a goal late in the third and in overtime. During his WHL career, Gawdin has come through in many critical moments for the Broncos.
    Skinner turned away 37 shots to pick up the win in goal for the Broncos. Hart stopped 29 shots to take the setback in the Silvertips net.
    Sissons finished with two assists for the Broncos, while Christiansen had two helpers for the Silvertips.
    Silvertips star overage right-winger Patrick Bajkov left for his team’s dressing room a couple of times during the contest.
    With the win, the Broncos insured that their season will make it back to Saskatchewan. They could return to Swift Current for either Games 6 or 7 of the WHL Championship series, which are set for this coming Sunday and Monday respectively. The Silvertips have to win one of the next two games of the WHL title series for that to happen.
    If the Broncos manage to win the WHL title series in Everett, they will advance to play in the Memorial Cup championship tournament to play for the CHL title, and that event runs May 18 to 27 in Regina.

Back in the Express with Rush’s Thompson

Rush transition player Jeremy Thompson is a fan favourite.
    I was back in the pages of the Saskatoon Express with a story on Jeremy Thompson, who is a transition player for the Saskatchewan Rush of the National Lacrosse League.
    Thompson has been a fan favourite since the Rush franchise relocated from Edmonton to Saskatoon before the start of the 2016 season.
    He grew up in the Onondaga Nation located near Syracuse in upstate New York, and he said lacrosse is very important to his people. The sport came from the Iroquois Confederacy, which the Onondaga Nation is part of.
    Children of the Onondaga Nation are given a homemade traditional wooden lacrosse stick in their cradle when they are born. In death, they carry a traditional wooden lacrosse stick in their casket.
    The cultural link to lacrosse is part of Thompson’s fascinating story.
    This season, he played in all of the Rush’s 18 regular season games collecting six goals and nine assists. Thompson finished fourth in the NLL with 234 faceoff wins and second with 164 loose ball pick ups.
    The Rush finished first overall in the entire NLL this season with a 14-4 record. On Sunday, the Rush host their archrivals the Calgary Roughnecks in the Western Division final on Sunday at 5 p.m. at the SaskTel Centre.
    The Roughnecks finished third in the Western Division with an 8-10 mark and upset the Colorado Mammoth 15-12 in a Western Division semifinal contest last Saturday. The Mammoth were second in the Western Division with an 11-7 record.
    The Rush claimed all three regular season encounters with the Roughnecks this season. The Rush prevailed 13-12 on Jan. 27 in Calgary, 10-6 on Feb. 24 in Saskatoon and 11-10 on April 28 in Saskatoon.
    Saskatchewan had the top two scorers in the league during the regular season. Veteran forward Mark Matthews topped the NLL in scoring with 32 goals and 84 assists, and forward Robert Church finished second in the league scoring race with 47 goals and 60 assists.
    Curtis Dickson topped the Roughnecks in regular season scoring and placed seventh overall in the league with 47 goals and 45 assists.
    The Rush are trying to advance to the NLL Championship series for the fourth straight year having claimed a league title in 2015, when the franchise was still in Edmonton, and another league championship in 2016, which was the team’s first campaign in Saskatchewan.
    The story on Thompson can be found right here.

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