Friday, 3 October 2014

Preview: Swift Current at Victoria, Sat. Oct 4th

The Victoria Royals (1-4) entertain the Swift Current Broncos (3-4) Saturday night in their only meeting of the season.

Pregame show on the Zone @ 91.3 fm or online at

Last year the Royals edged the Broncos 4-3 in overtime as Axel Blomqvist scored the winner giving him a 3 point night in Swift Current.

The Broncos are 1-2 on their 5 game BC road swing after snapping a 4 game losing skid Friday night with a 5-4 win over the Giants in Vancouver.  Calgary draft pick Coda Gordon had 2 goals and an assist, while five others had 2 point nights.  Blue Jackets 2nd rounder, Dillon Heatherington had a goal and assist along with Jake DeBrusk, and Glen Gawdin.  Colby Cave and Jay Merkley chipped in with a pair of helpers each.  Landon Bow stopped 26 of 30 shots.

Saturday is the 4th game in 5 nights for Swift Current on their road trip with losses coming in Prince George 5-3, and 3-1 in Kamloops.

Victoria has had 5 days between games, after wrapping up 3 in 3 with a 3-1 loss in Vancouver Sunday.

Broncos forward Jay Merkely is 3rd in league scoring with 11 points in 7 games (6g 5a) and earned the WHL’s first player of the week honours.  Merkley recorded five goals and two assist for seven points along with a +4 rating in their first two games.  He’s the older brother or the Rockets Nick Merkley.

5 Swift Current players are scoring at a point per game or better.

The Broncos special teams are red hot to start the season.  Swift’s power play is 2nd best at 37%, scoring 10 of their 23 goals with the man advantage, while their penalty killing is 3rd best, operating at 92% efficiency.

3 Swift Current defensemen are NHL draft picks.  Brett Lernout and Brycen Martin were selected back to back, 73rd and 74th overall in the 3rd round by Montreal and Buffalo respectively.  Dillon Heatherington was taken by Columbus, 50th in 2013.

Dallas was unable to return defenseman and first round pick (14th) Julius Honka to the Broncos because of an International Ice Hockey Federation ruling that Honka was on loan from his Finnish team to Swift Current and not property of the local WHL team.  He was assigned to their AHL affiliate this past week.  Technically he’s not a CHL player, he’s a European player. Honka could not have gone back to Swift Current this season unless he was re-loaned to the WHL.

Between the pipes Broncos 19yr old Landon Bow has started 6 of the clubs 7 games.

Victoria D Ryan Gagnon will be available for the weekend games as he’s served the 2 game suspension for a charging major he incurred in last Friday's game against visiting Kamloops.  Blazers D Patrik Maier was been suspended for 3 games for a that Friday night’s headshot on Axel Blomqvist who is out indefinitely.

The Royals will also be without forward Brandon Fushimi with a lower body injury for 2-3 weeks.  Defenseman Jack Walker will move to forward for the interim.

The Victoria Royals have signed G Griffen Outhouse, 16, who was added to their list in 2013. Outhouse, from Williams Lake, B.C., is playing for the major midget Cariboo Cougars, who play out of Prince George. He played last season with the POE U-16 team, going 2.88/.882 in 12 appearances.


2013-14: Record (38-25-3-6) for 85 points. It was a fifth place finish in the WHL eastern conference and a 2nd place east division finish. The Broncos lost in the playoffs to the 4th seeded Medicine Hat Tigers in 6 games.

On the Radar: 97 Born Forward Glenn Gawdin and 96 born forward Jake DeBrusk cracked NHL central scouting’s ‘Ones to Watch’ list as B level prospects.

Broncos Acquire Nikkel: Swift Current and Saskatoon swapped defencemen on Monday morning. Swift sent 96 born sophomore Cole Bevan and a 2015 7th round bantam pick to Saskatoon for 95 born rugged rearguard Ayrton Nikkel .

Lamb Longevity: Bronco head coach and GM Mark Lamb is entering his 6th season behind the bench of the Swift Current Broncos. Lamb is currently the longest serving head coach in the WHL.

No One left at NHL Camps: Dillon Heatherington returned to the Swift Current Broncos lineup  after attending Columbus Blue Jackets camp. Brett Lernout attended Montreal Canadiens camp and Brycen Martin attended Buffalo Sabres camp. Colby Cave attended Arizona Coyotes camp on a free agent tryout.

Off-season deals: The Swift Current Broncos made one trade in the WHL off-season acquiring 1996 born forward Luca Leone from the Vancouver Giants. Leone has played 66 games over two seasons in the WHL scoring 4 goals and 7 assists for 11 points. The Broncos parted ways with 1995 born defenceman Bobby Zinkan to get Leone

On Ice in the Summer: Glenn Gawdin suited up for Team Pacific in the 2014 World Junior U-17 hockey challenge, which captured a silver medal.  Dillon Heatherington was invited to Hockey Canada’s Summer Development Camp for the 2nd year in a row.

After Swift Current, Victoria faces Portland on Monday for the first time since the playoffs after falling in 5 games.  Then the Royals embark on a 6 game Alberta road swing.

-Marlon Martens
Victoria Royals vs Swift Current Broncos: Head To Head Stats

Head to Head Record 2014-15 Regular SeasonVictoria 0-0-0-0Swift Current 0-0-0-0
Head to Head Record 2013-14 Regular SeasonVictoria 1-0-0-0Swift Current 0-0-1-0
Last 5 Years record between teamsVictoria 2-2-0-0Swift Current 2-1-1-0
Victoria vs. Swift Current Last 5 Years record at VictoriaVictoria 1-1-0-0Swift Current 1-1-0-0
Victoria vs. Swift Current Last 5 Years record at Swift CurrentVictoria 1-1-0-0Swift Current 1-0-1-0

How the 2 teams match up
Swift Current
Team Record3-4-0-0 -- 6 points1-4-0-0 -- 2 points
Division Ranking3rd East5th B.C.
Conference Ranking5th Eastern9th Western
League Ranking10th20th
Past 10 Games3-4-0-01-4-0-0
Last Game5-4 W @ Vancouver (Oct 3 2014) Final5-3 L @ Vancouver (Sep 28 2014) Final
Home Record1-2-0-01-1-0-0
Away Record2-2-0-00-3-0-0
GF23 13 
GA24 25 
PP (Overall)(10/27) 37.0(6/33) 18.2
PP (Home)(6/13) 46.2(2/13) 15.4
PP (Away)(4/14) 28.6(4/20) 20.0
PK (Overall)(2/25) 92.0(6/23) 73.9
PK (Home)(1/15) 93.3(4/9) 55.6
PK (Away)(1/10) 90.0(2/14) 85.7
Leading RookieLajoie (1-2-3)Hannoun (1-1-2)
Most PIMOdgers - 15Crunk - 20
Team PIM/GM11.3/Game18.4/Game
Leading ScorersMerkley (6-5-11)Brown (2-3-5)
 Gordon (3-7-10)Carroll (2-2-4)
 Gawdin (3-4-7)Hicketts (2-2-4)
 DeBrusk (2-5-7)Fushimi (1-3-4)
 Cave (1-6-7)Soy (1-2-3)
Last 5 Games5-4 W @ Vancouver (Oct 3 2014) Final5-3 L @ Vancouver (Sep 28 2014) Final
 3-1 L @ Kamloops (Oct 1 2014) Final4-3 W vs Kamloops (Sep 27 2014) Final OT
 5-3 L @ Prince George (Sep 30 2014) Final8-2 L vs Kamloops (Sep 26 2014) Final
 5-2 L vs Brandon (Sep 27 2014) Final3-1 L @ Vancouver (Sep 20 2014) Final
 5-1 L vs Edmonton (Sep 26 2014) Final6-3 L @ Kamloops (Sep 19 2014) Final
Leading After 1st2-1-0-00-1-0-0
Leading After 2nd3-0-0-00-1-0-0
Tied After 1st1-2-0-01-0-0-0
Tied After 2nd0-1-0-01-0-0-0
Trailing After 1st0-1-0-00-3-0-0
Trailing After 2nd0-3-0-00-3-0-0
Out Shooting Opponents2-3-0-00-1-0-0
Out Shot by Opponents0-1-0-01-3-0-0
1-Goal Games1-0-0-01-0-0-0
2-Goal Games0-2-0-00-2-0-0
3-Goal Games1-1-0-00-1-0-0