HUMBOLDT — During the last hockey season, Chase Lacombe had success with two groups of Broncos.
First, the Moose Jaw product helped the Humboldt Broncos post the best record in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League before the SJHL season was paused and then cancelled. Then, with the injuries making the team shorthanded, the Swift Current Broncos of the Western Hockey League invited him to join them in the Regina Hub. He earned a role on the blue line and was named the team’s Most Popular Player.
After spending his junior rookie season in Humboldt, Lacombe split the 2019-20 campaign between the SJHL Broncos and Swift Current. He was pleased to be back with the WHL Broncos last season.
“The thing I enjoyed most was being able to see the guys that I played with last year and being able to see the young guys coming up first hand and learning a lot from the coaches and new vets that weren’t there the year before to help me on and off the ice,” Lacombe said.
The 6-foot, 194-pound defenceman saw action in 13 games and recorded an assist. When asked about Lacombe being named the team’s most popular player, the Broncos Broadcast and Community Relations Manager Craig Beauchemin said:
“Chase is one of the most laidback players I’ve ever met. He is someone that every player on the team has a positive relationship with because he has such a great sense of humor and does his best to keep the mood as light as possible at all times. It’s unfortunate this season wasn’t a normal one or else fans in the communities would have been able to see even more of that side of Chase with him getting out into the community.”
The Saskatchewan and Manitoba-based WHL squads played in a “bubble” type setting in Regina. They lived in University of Regina housing.
“The things I enjoyed the most about being in the bubble was I was able to see the guys every day, build lifelong friendships, and really get to know everyone,” Lacombe said.
In the SJHL, Lacombe helped the Broncos gallop to a league-best 5-1-0-0 record. He appeared in all six games.
“Chase is at his best when engaged and playing physical, making simple hard plays, and making it hard on other teams’ offensive players with good gap and active stick,” Humboldt head coach Scott Barney said. “We want to count on him as a top shutdown guy and on the penalty kill.”
Lacombe liked the success and camaraderie the SJHL Broncos experienced. “This year with Humboldt I really enjoyed playing there because we were all super close and everyone got along and included everyone,” he said. “We also felt we had a chance at the SJHL championship. We were all supper competitive in practice, which I feel made me a better hockey player today because of it.”
Lacombe has appreciated the parts of three seasons he has played in Humboldt. “Over the years in Humboldt, I’ve really come to love how die hard the fans are there and how much they love and support the team,” he said. “I’ve been lucky enough to have awesome billets in Humboldt and Swift Current as well. The coaches are always ready to help you progress to get to the next level and genuinely want to see everyone succeed. And being there since the rebuild of the team, has helped me appreciate every opportunity I’ve been given and make the best of them.”