Broncos face early playoff deficit

Steven Mah
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The Swift Current Broncos lost 2-1 in Medicine Hat to open the 2013-14 Western Hockey League playoffs

Swift Current Broncos - Light It Up

The Swift Current Broncos find themselves in an early hole in the playoffs after a 2-1 loss to the host Medicine Hat Tigers Friday. The Broncos now trail the opening round best-of-seven series 1-0 with game two slated for Saturday in Medicine Hat.

Curtis Valk opened the scoring with 5:03 left in the first period for a 1-0 lead that would hold up into the third period. The Tigers' 47-goal man now has 11 goals in 32 playoff games.

Chad Butcher scored the eventual game winning goal 2:55 into the third period to make it 2-0 Tigers. The Kamloops native was playing in only his second career playoff game and had only scored eight goals in 102 WHL games heading into the playoff opener.

Julius Honka scored a powerplay goal midway through the third period but that was the only time the Broncos could beat Marek Langhamer to fall behind in the series. Honka, who was recently named an Eastern Conference Second All-Star Team defenseman, scored in his first WHL playoff game after scoring 16 goals during his rookie season.

Langhamer picked up the win with 25 saves on 26 shots. Eetu Laurikainen made 28 saves in a losing cause for the Broncos.

The Broncos did win the special teams battle, finishing one-for-four on the powerplay while killing off all three Medicine Hat man-advantages.

The series will shift back to Swift Current for games three and four on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Organizations: Swift Current Broncos, WHL, Medicine Hat Tigers

Geographic location: Swift Current

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