The Swift Current Broncos hung on to the very end and it paid off, as they pushed past the Pats in Game 1 of their second-round playoff series.
In the regular season, the Broncos inched past the Pats just once – also in overtime – but the playoffs are a different kind of game and the Pats aren’t panicking.
“There’s all sorts of momentum swings all the time in playoffs so, I wouldn’t say this kind of thing at any point is unexpected,” Pats head coach John Paddock said after the loss Thursday.
The Pats scored late in the first period to get up 1-0 on the Broncos, peppering the net with nearly 20 shots in the frame. It was Austin Wagner who eventually got the puck past 20-year-old Jordan Papirny to put Regina up on their division rivals.
That goal was nearly the game-winner until Papirny was pulled from between the pipes around the two-minute mark of the third period to give Swift an extra attacker. Lane Pederson took advantage, tying things up with just 38 seconds to go and forcing overtime.
But it wasn’t just a late surge that gave the Broncos the edge. Swift Current hung around all game, outshooting the Pats in the second period 14-8 and nearly matching them for shots in the third.
In the end, only two shots were needed: Pederson’s equalizer and Ryley Lindgren’s game-winner 15 minutes into overtime.
“We played hard, we played a real good game and we’ve got another game (Friday) night,” said Pats goaltender Tyler Brown, who saved 34 of 36 shots. “We have six more games to do what we want to do.”
And it’s not like the Pats head coach was upset with how his team played either, just the result. Paddock made his displeasure over Regina’s first round play against Calgary known in the days leading up to this second round match up. He went so far as to say if they played Swift Current or Moose Jaw the way they played Calgary the series would have gone to seven games.
It’ll go to at least five now if the Pats come out victorious.
For that to happen, they’ll also have to figure out a way to get past Papirny who was lights out for his team, blocking 53 of 54 shots in the win.
“Goals didn’t come easy, they’re not going to come easy on them, we still have to do a better job in that, Paddock said. “But we’re not unhappy in our game at all.”
“There were a couple little things we need to be aware of but we got to go out and do the same stuff, only a little better.”
Puck drops on game 2 Friday night at 7 p.m.
- Jordan Papirny (Swift Current), 53 saves
- Tyler Brown (Regina), 34 saves
- Ryley Lindgren (Swift Current), 1 goal (the game winner), 1 assist