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Elizabeth getting into a fight with Charlie Horse the Swift Current Broncos’ mascot. I think I was a little outmatched size wise. Disclaimer: No mascots or photographers were injured. Photo Credit: John Statton

All right, I have to come clean with a few different details as I write this post. When I moved to Swift Current in 2008 I wasn’t an avid hockey fan. In fact, when I received the job of reporting on the Swift Current Broncos I purchased a copy of “Hockey for Dummies.” Now, I have lost 10 minutes of my life looking for it so I could take photographic evidence for you. I am guessing I left it behind in my office. However, I can say this, It didn’t take long for me get caught up in the hockey euphoria, get a real understanding of the game and learn about the players. Following the reporting gig the team offered me a contract as their home-game photographer. I accepted and for a total of three years spent many winter nights at the rink.

I took the photography contract not for the extra pay-cheque but because I had grown to love the atmosphere at the rink.  The friendly hello’s from the regulars, catching up with someone I “hadn’t seen in ages,” or enjoying a rink burger – a hockey game just isn’t complete without something from the concession.  Not to mention, holding my breath and wondering whether the team would pull off a win, listening to the music blast through the warmup and finally, the post game “analysis” with whoever I sat down to watch with after I finished shooting. IBeing at the rink was like going to cocktail hour with a side of cheering and other exclamations the crowd simultaneously erupts into.

Former Swift Current Broncos tough guy Andy Blanke would often get the crowd’s attention with a few good punches. Is fighting a draw or deterrent for you to go watch a hockey game? Let us know what you think.

This year the office team is putting extra effort into ensuring the rink environment is enjoyable. The following is a quote I pulled from Dianne Sletten, the woman in charge of business operations. “We need to be sure we’re giving people good value when they come and it’s not just the team on the ice. It’s feeling you’re appreciated, having fun at the building, great food in the concession and just being treated well when you’re here.” She also happens to be a former colleague of mine, so I can attest to her sincerity. She was a hardcore fan that understood the importance of getting off the couch, heading down to the rink, getting into the game and supporting the team long before the Broncos’ brought her on board.

Photo credit: Elizabeth Heatcoat (Huber) – 2010 – 2011 archive. Adam Lowry works the puck in front of the opposing team’s net. The Broncos’ captain is now in his fourth season with the team, was drafted by the Winnipeg Jets and is the son of former NHL forward Dave Lowry.

For the last confession of this post, writing this has reminded me how much I miss going to the Credit Union iplex. I fear I have become one of the rural people the club is trying to engage to keep up its viability in the league.  I do believe the onus in now on us to get down there, grab a burger from the concession and a beer in the stands, shuffle into our chosen seats for the evening, cheer on the Broncos, and who knows maybe even be treated to a good old-fashioned fight or two. Scratch shuffling into a seat! I want to watch the game from the standing room at the top of the seating bowl.

As the standings have indicated you just may be in luck and this season catch an interesting hockey game too. Only 15 games into the season as this posting is written and the Broncos are currently 7th in the Eastern conference with 14 points consisting of 5 wins, 6 loses, and 5 games taken into overtime. There is also a number of competitive players. Who knows. someday, when one of the team members makes it to the big-time you can say, “I watched him play when he was just starting his career in Swift Current.”

Photo credit: Elizabeth Heatcoat (Huber) – 2010 – 2011 archive. Reese Scarlett has the potential to make it big. He was drafted by the New Jersey Devils in 2011. He is currently playing his fourth and last junior season.

Good to Know:

    • The team has an official free app, accessible on iPhone and android. It features up-to-date news stories, stats, standings, live scores, 50-50 information, Twitter updates and more. You can download the app on iTunes or Google Play
  • Purchasing Tickets: Visit: The Stable, the Broncos’ souvenir store, in the Credit Union I-plex.  Phone: (306) 773-1509 ext. 0  Or go here: http://tickets.scbroncos.com
  • The 2012-13 individual ticket prices are as follows:  ADULT $17.50* STUDENT (13-18) – $8.75*  CHILDREN (12 & UNDER)- $6.75*  *Does not include Box Office service charges.*
  • Early Bird Ticket Prices:  (Available in Silver Zone ONLY)  ADULT – $10.00  STUDENTS – $6.00  CHILDREN –$4.00  FAMILY OF 4 – $25.00  *Early Bird tickets must be purchased by 5:00PM the day of the game.*

How to GoHere:
The Credit Union iplex is located on the corner of Chaplin Street and Highway 4 South. When arriving into Swift Current from the East or West simply exit the TransCanada onto highway 4 South. If you are coming into the city from the North or South, you are already on Highway 4.

Gotta Go?
You are in luck. There are many bathrooms throughout the facility. I recommend going to the ones on the top level in the back corner near the box seats. In my experience they have been cleaner than the ones on the main floor lobby. They are also located conveniently close to the beer and a micro-concession.