Bruno Axemen win provincials, earn national spot

HUMBOLDT — The Bruno Axemen senior men’s broomball team are going to the nationals.

In the finals of the Saskatchewan provincial seniors broomball tournament, held in Humboldt March 1 to 3, the Axemen defeated the Odessa Renegades 3-2 in overtime.

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On the women’s side, the Saskatoon Flyers won 1-0 against the Regina Ice Devils in overtime.

Ray Bender, the co-chair of the tournament’s organizing committee, said he was pleased with the performance of the Bruno teams, which include the men’s Axemen, the men’s Primetimers and the women’s Bombshells.

“All the teams are competitive and it's been going very smoothly,” he said.

In total, there were six women’s teams and four men’s teams at the provincials.

Bender said the provincial tournament usually flips between north and south each year.

“We just put a bid in to host it and we got it. We played it in Humboldt because of the artificial ice. Bruno doesn’t have artificial ice, which we're working on,” he said.  “Everybody kind of takes their turn to do it. There's only 10 senior teams left in the province and everybody takes their turn, and you get to play at home, so it's nice to play at home maybe once in a while.”

Bruno had a strong base in the sport because it’s something that begins when residents are young, Bender said.

“We have a bantam boys’ and girls’, we have midget boys’ and girls’, and we have junior boys’ and girls’ teams. It’s just tradition. It’s been going for quite a while in Bruno.”

Bender himself played for 27 years before he began coaching.

“It's a fun sport. It's a lot exercise. It's a cheaper sport than hockey ... and anybody can play it,” he said. “Where in hockey you have to be a good skater to be involved, here anybody can go out and play.”

The location of the nationals, to be held next year, are yet to be determined, but there’s a bid to hold them in Saskatoon.

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