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Broncos, Tigers clash in WHL divisional race on TSN+

Gavin McKenna Medicine Hat Tigers Gavin McKenna - Western Hockey League (@TheWHL)

The Swift Current Broncos and Medicine Hat Tigers battle in the first half of a home-and-home that will help decide the WHL's Central Division on Friday.

Subscribe to watch Swift Current battle Medicine Hat LIVE at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on TSN+,, and the TSN App.

Swift Current leads the division going into Friday's game with a 36-20-6 record and are one-point ahead of the Tigers with two games in hand.

The Broncos are coming off a 4-2 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders on Tuesday and have won nine of their last 10 games. They have a 5-1-1 record against Medicine Hat this season with the two clubs playing on Friday and Saturday to close out their season series.

Trade deadline acquisition Connor Geekie leads the Broncos in scoring this year, registering 39 goals and 90 points in 49 games split between the Wenatchee Wild and the Broncos. Since joining the Broncos in January, the Arizona Coyotes' 2022 first-round selection has 19 goals and 41 points in 23 games.

Geekie is on an 11-game point streak, recording eight goals and 16 points during that span with seven multi-point games. He was ranked No. 40 on TSN's Director of Scouting Craig Button's top 50 NHL-affiliated prospects in February.

Leading the Broncos' backend is captain Owen Pickering who was drafted 21st overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2022 NHL Draft. The 6-foot-4 left-shot leads Broncos defencemen in scoring with six goals and 38 points with a plus-15 rating.

Boston Bruins prospect Reid Dyck patrols the crease in Swift Current, registering a 23-6-2 record with a 2.64 goals-against average and his .912 save percentage is good for fourth in the WHL.

Medicine Hat is 3-5-2 in their last 10 games, which include back-to-back losses to the Broncos on Feb 23 and 24. They are on a three-game losing streak heading into this crucial home-and-home after losses to the Lethbridge Hurricanes, Saskatoon Blades, and Raiders last week.

Rookie forward Gavin McKenna leads the team in scoring with 31 goals and 90 points in 58 games. The Whitehorse, Yukon native became just the third player to be granted exceptional status to play in the WHL last season, joining Chicago Blackhawks forward Connor Bedard and Buffalo Sabres prospect Matthew Savoie.

McKenna is among the best in the WHL's history books, ranking eighth in scoring by a 16-year-old with 90 points and fifth in assists with 59 with four games remaining.

The 6-foot winger isn't eligible for the NHL draft until 2026.

Fans will have an opportunity to see NHL prospect Andrew Basha, who’s is ranked No. 19 on Button's recent draft list and No. 24 on TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie's latest draft rankings.

The 6-foot winger is third on the Tigers in scoring with 28 goals and 79 points in 59 games this season and took part at the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.

NHL top prospect Cayden Lindstrom will not be available to the Tigers on Friday as he is still on the mend from having surgery to repair an upper-body injury in December.

The 6-foot-4 centre had 27 goals and 46 points in 32 games before the injury and was ranked No. 5 on McKenzie's latest draft rankings and No. 10 on Button's recent draft list.

Medicine Hat is led by a tandem of rookies in net that includes Ethan McCallum and Zach Zahara.

Zahara appeared in 28 games for the Tigers this season, going 15-7-4 with a .895 save percentage and 3.06 GAA. He last appeared during the team's 8-3 blowout loss to the Raiders on Saturday, allowing eight goals on 31 shots.

McCallum has a 10-7-1 record with an .886 save percentage and 3.02 GAA in 21 appearances. He last appeared in a 4-1 loss to the Broncos on Feb. 23 making 27 of 31 saves.

After this weekend's series with Swift Current, the Tigers have another home-and-home with the Hurricanes to close out the regular season on March 23.

The Broncos have four games remaining after their crucial matches against the Tigers, which includes taking on the Edmonton Oil Kings, Red Deer Rebels, and a home-and-home with the Calgary Hitmen to wrap the season.