HUMBOLDT — The Humboldt Broncos continue to find ways to win.
Last week the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League team came from behind to earn victories against Flin Flon, 3-2, and La Ronge, 5-4 and 5-2.
After the weekend, Humboldt had won 10 straight games.
With this success, the Broncos galloped into second place in the SJHL. Their 34-16-2-1 record gave them 71 points in the standings – just three back of the league-leading Nipawin Hawks.
The Broncos topped the Global Ag Risk Solutions Division as of Sunday, but Kindersley (32-14-3-2) was just a point back at 69.
“All the players are buying into the process of how we want things done. They are believing in each other... When you have 22 guys believing in each other, that can go a long ways,” said head coach Scott Barney, who noted he saw that from day one with this group.
The Humboldt head coach also pointed to his team’s special teams and depth playing roles in its recent success.
Last week the Broncos had a power play goal in each of their games and converted on 33 per cent of their man-advantage chances. Humboldt also killed off some key penalties last week.
The Broncos saw offensive contributions from various players over the week.
Veteran and assistant captain Derek Patter had three points last week, including a two-point outing versus La Ronge on Friday night. In that contest, his linemates Reid Arnold and Cole Kirkup recorded a point and two points, respectively.
The next night rookie Zach McIntyre scored twice with fellow first-year forward Riker Franczak assisting on both goals.
This is a big week for the Broncos, as they play Kindersley twice. The two teams were to clash on Monday after the Journal’s deadline. They were to meet again on Sunday to wrap up Humboldt’s February schedule. In between those two games, the Broncos play Melfort on Friday in a non-divisional game. The Mustangs are just a point back of the Klippers with 68. All three games this week are at the Elgar Petersen Arena.
Last week Broncos forward Michael Clarke was chosen as the Global Ag Risk Solutions Division’s nominee for the SJHL most valuable player award.
Clarke’s competition is Melfort’s Justin Ball, who leads the league in points, and Estevan’s Turner Ripplinger.
Clarke, a 20-year-old in his first season in Humboldt, leads the Broncos with 66 points and 40 assists in 52 games and is second to Brayden Camrud in goals with 27.
Other Global Ag Risk Solutions Division candidates for league awards include rookie of the year: Nolan Renwick, Notre Dame; player of the year and best defenceman: Cody Spagrud, Battlefords; and top goalie – Justen Close, Kindersley.
Poncelet gives back
Humboldt’s own Reagan Poncelet was chosen in 2018 as the team’s RBC and SJHL Community Ambassador for the work he does off the ice.
As part of the honour, RBC made a $1,000 to the City of Humboldt. Poncelet has chosen for it to be used for the Humboldt Special Olympics floor hockey program.
“He is great with the kids. He wants to give back to the community,” Barney said in an interview earlier this year.
“For me, it is great to see the guys giving back to the community because they support them so much.”