The Saskatoon Blades play host to the Swift Current Broncos tonight at the Credit Union Centre.
The Blades are coming off a loss in Moose Jaw to the Warriors, while the Broncos are coming off a loss in Edmonton to the Oil Kings on Wednesday.
The Broncos are going to be facing an uphill battle in the game. They are about 3/4 of the way through an 11 game road trip. For the month of December they started with two games at home, before starting off on the trip that see's them play their final game on the 1st of January, on the road. Talk about a tough stretch.
To make it harder, they are also facing a bad case of the injury bug. On Wednesday night in Edmonton, they played the game with only 7 forwards. During the road trip so far they have lost 4 players to injury, along with losing Cody Eakin to Canada's World Junior Team.
It's going to take a big effort for this Broncos team to battle that adversity and the short bench to get some points in the standings here in Saskatoon.
Here are my keys to the game:
For Swift Current
- Lean heavy on Justin Dowling. He’s their leading point getter, and they need him to show why tonight with Eakin gone and a young lineup.
- Weather a storm early. The Blades won’t be pleased with their last effort in a loss to Moose Jaw and Swift Current needs to come out of the first 20 minutes atleast even on the scoreboard.
- And Mark Friesen needs a better start tonight. He was pulled the last time these teams met in November at CUC.
- Grind their defense down. With such a young blueline for the Broncos, that extra physical play can go a long way to creating turnovers and creating chances.
- Play an up tempo game. With Swift Current being tired and injured, a short bench can be exposed with a quick paced game.
- And goaltending needs to bounce back. Stanford wasn’t the main reason to blame in the loss to MJ, but it wasn’t really there when the team needed it to be last game. Regardless of who starts tonight, the goalies have to play well.
The game starts at 7:05 from CUC. You can listen on 92.9 The Bull if you can't make it to the game. The broadcast starts at 6:30 with the pre-game show.