The turning point in Saturday’s 4-3 overtime victory for the Acadie-Bathurst Titan over the Swift Current Broncos came early in the second period.
With the W-H-L champs up 2-1 and out-shooting the best of the Quebec Major Junior League 13-11, Titan captain Jeffrey Truchon-Viel crunched star Swifty sniper Tyler Steenbergen into the boards, injuring Canada’s World Junior “golden goal” scorer in the process. From there, Acadie-Bathurst out-shot the Broncos 28-14 and out-scored them 3-1 to procure the victory with Liam Murphy getting credit for the winning goal at 2:58 of the extra period.
“There’s no question when you lose a player of Tyler’s calibre, you’re going to have to make adjustments,” said Swift Current head coach Manny Viveiros when asked about the effect of losing Steenbergen. “But again, we’re deep enough and we feel as though we are skilled enough. No question, he’s a great hockey player and a great kid and leader of our hockey team. But, that happens so it is an opportunity for someone else to step up.”
Viveiros wouldn’t comment on what Steenbergen’s injury was or the extent of it, only to see that the 19-year-old Arizona Coyotes’ signed draft pick will be sidelined on a “day-to-day” basis. He had scored a power play goal earlier in the game before being injured. However, the Broncos’ power play surrendered two short-handed goals to Acadie-Bathurst after Steenbergen left. Giorgio Estephan tallied twice and assisted on the Steenbergen marker for Swift Current, who will next play the Ontario Hockey League-champion Hamilton Bulldogs Monday.
Truchon-Viel ended up with three assists and was +4 for the game. Samuel Asselin scored twice for Acadie-Bathurst and Adam Holwell forced overtime with a third period short-handed tally as the Titan out-shot the Broncos 39-27. The Titan are back in action Sunday against the host Regina Pats…a battle of teams who each won their first game of the C-H-L championship tournament.