Moir is Broncos No. 1 goalie

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:53 AM ET

Kyle Moir doesn't have much room for error.

Starting between the pipes for the struggling Swift Current Broncos, the Calgary product knows he has to be sharp every night to keep his squad in contention for a playoff spot.

"There's always pressure when you're the starting goalie," the 19-year-old says. "You have to be there and give your team a chance to win every night.

"Nowadays, you need about 80 points to get in the playoffs."

With the Broncos and Red Deer Rebels stumbling at the bottom of the WHL's Central Division, it probably won't take such a lofty total to nail down a playoff berth this season. And Moir gave the Broncos a little breathing room by leading Speedy Creek to a 2-1 victory in Red Deer Friday night.

"It looks like it's going to be a battle until the end of the year," Moir said after being named the game's first star in a 33-save performance that put Swift Current five points up on the cellar-dwelling Rebels.

Last night, he blanked the Calgary Hitmen through regulation and overtime but it still wasn't enough.

Riley Merkley and Freddie Pettersson scored in the shootout as Calgary (20-8- 0-0) beat the Broncos 1-0.

Calgary 'tender Justin Pogge posted his franchise record sixth shutout of the season and lowered his league-leading goals-against average to 1.52.

Last time the Broncos visited the Stampede City, an unhappy Moir backed up Travis Yonkman. But after being run over by Hitmen forward Darryl Moscaluk, Yonkman suffered a shoulder injury and is still on the sidelines. Moir made a number of miraculous stops as the Broncos stunned Calgary with a 3-2 win.

"You always want to play in your hometown," says Moir, who has seen action in 27 of the club's 28 games. "And Calgary has a good team so I want to play against them.

"I look forward to coming home and seeing frinds and my family. Plus, it's an NHL rink so it's fun to play in."

His family, including father Darrell who played safety for the Stamps from 1979-85, took in last night's tilt.

The Broncos, who left the 'Dome with a 9-14-0-5 record are markedly improved from last season when they missed the playoffs (22-41-6-3) by 30 points.

Going through a rebuilding process is never a fun process. Even less so for a goaltender.

"Sometimes it's been difficult," Moir says. "But we're coming along. You can see the improvement every day.

"We just have to put together a couple of wins in a row and show everybody we can play."

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HIT PARADE: The three stars were Broncos G Kyle Moir, Hitmen C Riley Merkley and Hitmen G Justin Pogge ... Not dressed for Calgary were RW Keegan Dansereau (concussion, day to day), D Alex Plante, LW Kris Deines, RW Carson McMillan ... The Hitmen play the second of a five-game homestand next Friday when the Saskatoon Blades visit the 'Dome. The Teddy Bear Toss is next Sunday.


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