|Swift Current Broncos (26-9-2-0) at Saskatoon Blades (18-17-2-1)
Today – The Saskatoon Blades kick off the 2018 calendar riding a 4 game win streak looking to make it 5 against the visiting Swift Current Broncos. Both teams have went 7-3 over their last 10 games. It’s the second game of a weekend home & home series; the Blades beat the Broncos 4-3 on Saturday night in Swift, but the Broncos hold the season series lead with 4 wins in 6 meetings. This is the 7th meeting on the year and the last until season series finale on March 14th.
The opponent – Swift Current is without several key members in their lineup with Aleksi Heponiemi, Tyler Steenbergen, and Artyom Minulin away at World Juniors. Still the Broncos remain one of the top teams in the WHL holding down 2nd place in the overall standings with 54 points. Captain Glenn Gawdin currently sits 2nd in the league scoring race with 72 points while d-man Colby Sissons is 3rd among defence scoring with 41 points.
For Saskatoon – Discipline is key… the Broncos bring in the top power play unit in the league so the Blades need to limit their chances. Secondary scoring… it’s no secret Cam Hebig is a dangerous weapon and the Broncos will attempt to smother him, so the secondary scoring needs to continue to help out, which it has been lately. The line of Chase Wouters, Braylon Shmyr, and Josh Paterson has piled up 29 points over the last 4 games. Start on time… the Blades have had to come back in their last two wins, so getting an early lead will make life a little easier instead of playing chase again, which is dangerous against a top team like Swift.
The lineup – Don’t expect many changes… Chase Wouters’ line has accounted for 29 points in their last 4 outings so they will likely stay together. Ryan Kubic is back in the lineup as well, but with Nolan Maier riding a win streak and having Sunday off, the rookie could make his 5th straight start again today.
F Caleb Fantillo – lower body, 3-5 weeks
F Kirby Dach – upper body, week-to-week
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