Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Skinner, Sissons give Broncos command of WHL final

Netminder Stuart Skinner made 32 saves in the shutout win for the Broncos.
    Stuart Skinner’s fifth shutout of the WHL playoffs has put the Swift Current Broncos one win away from capturing the Ed Chynoweth Cup.
    On Wednesday night at the Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett, Wash., Skinner made 32 saves and offensive defenceman Colby Sissons wired home a second period power-play goal to give the Broncos a 1-0 victory over the Everett Silvertips in Game 4 of the WHL Championship series.
    With the win, the Broncos lead the best-of-seven set 3-1 and can close things out in Game 5 on Friday, which is set for a 7:30 p.m. local time start at the Angel of the Winds Arena. Swift Current last won the WHL title in 1993, which happens to be the last time a Saskatchewan-based team took the league championship.
    Skinner has posted a 15-9 record, a 2.21 goals against average, a .931 save percentage and five shutouts this post-season. The 19-year-old Edmonton product had six shutouts in the 2017-18 regular season in 56 appearances split between the Lethbridge Hurricanes and Broncos.
    The third round 2017 NHL Entry Draft selection of the Edmonton Oilers was dealt by the Hurricanes to the Broncos in a blockbuster trade on Jan. 9.
    In the opening 20 minutes, the Silvertips outshot the Broncos 8-4, but Swift Current had a big early chance to go ahead when centre Giorgio Estephan deflected a point shot from Sisson off the post of the Everett goal.
    Early in the second period, Broncos left-winger Beck Malenstyn had a short-handed breakaway, but he was stoned by Silvertips star netminder Carter Hart.
Colby Sissons scored the lone goal of Game 4 of the WHL final.
    With 5:25 to play in the second and the Broncos working on the power play, Sissons streaked into the Silvertips zone on a rush and wired home a shot to the top left corner of the Everett net to give the Broncos a 1-0 lead to disappoint most of the 5,081 spectators in attendance.
    From that point, Skinner slammed the door in the Swift Current goal.
    With just under six minutes to play in the third, he stopped Silvertips right-winger Garrett Pilon on a hard mid-range drive and stoned Everett left-winger Connor Dewar, who tried to backhand home the rebound.
    After the Silvertips pulled Hart for an extra attacker, Pilon found himself alone in front of the Swift Current goal with the puck, but his shot was turned back by a left pad stop from Skinner.
Hart turned away 18 shots to take the setback in goal for the Silvertips.
    The Broncos went 1-for-4 on the power play, while the Silvertips failed to score on five chances with the man advantage.
    Overage Silvertips star right-winger Patrick Bajkov played in Game 4 after leaving to the dressing room on a couple of occasions in his club’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Broncos in Game 3 on Tuesday.
    The Silvertips, who finished third overall in the WHL regular season with a 47-20-2-3 record, are 8-1 on the road in the playoffs and 5-6 at home. The Broncos, who finished second overall in the WHL regular season with a 48-17-5-2 mark, are 7-5 on the road in the post-season and 8-4 at home.
    If Everett wins Game 5 on Friday, the series will shift back to Swift Current for Games 6 and 7 if necessary, which will be held on Sunday and Monday respectively with a 7 p.m. local start times on both nights at the Innovation Credit Union i-Plex.

Back in the Express with Valkyries’ Peters

Devyn Peters (#31) is a breakout running back for the Valkyries.
    I was back in the pages of the Saskatoon Express this week with a feature on Saskatoon Valkyries running back Devyn Peters.
    Last season, Peters played linebacker on defence for most of her rookie campaign with the Western Women’s Canadian Football League team. In the league’s consolation final clash between the Valkyries and Edmonton Storm, Peters was inserted at running back on offence, and she carried the ball 15 times for 218 yards and scored two touchdowns in a 44-20 Saskatoon victory.
    The 19-year-old sophomore heads into this season as a full-time running back with the Valkyries.
    On Saturday, the Valkyries will host the defending WWCFL champion Regina Riot at 8 p.m. at Griffiths Stadium. The game was originally slated to be held at Saskatoon Minor Football Field but construction at that facility forced the contest to be moved.
    Both teams head into this contest with identical 1-0 regular season records. Last Saturday, the Riot traveled to Winnipeg, Man., and thumped the Manitoba Fearless 56-14. The Valkyries were in Winnipeg last Sunday and blanked the Wolfpack 48-0.
    The Express story on Peters can be found right here.

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