A four-game winning streak has sent the Humboldt Broncos to near the top of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League standings.
If the playoffs were to have started on Monday, the Broncos would have been the second seed behind Nipawin. Humboldt won all three of its games last week – including one in overtime. The squad is 7-3 in its last 10 games.
“I think we have just been practicing a little bit different kind of things we want to do in our overall system and the process how we want things done,” head coach Scott Barney said. “I think we have really been trying to get guys into better condition. We have lots of guys who can skate fast. We just need them in better condition.
“They’ve been buying in and working hard. We’ve been rewarded with some wins now.”
As of Sunday, the Broncos had a 28-16-2-1 record. With 59 standings points, they have the third most in the league. Nipawin (31-12-1-2) led with 65 followed by their Sherwood Division rival Flin Flon with 60. As the SJHL gives its division winners the top three seeds, Humboldt is second in the league standings followed by Yorkton (24-19-1-0) with 49. Flin Flon is fourth.
The Broncos will have to watch and rest this week as they don’t have any games on their schedule. The Broncos are back in action on Feb. 6 when they play the Notre Dame Hounds in Wilcox.
Last week the team got things started with a 5-2 victory over the visiting La Ronge Ice Wolves on Wednesday. Leading up to the contest, Barney had cautioned his squad not to take the last team in the SJHL standings lightly. The contest was tied 1-1 heading into the third period.
“Champions and winning teams always find a way to win,” Barney said. “That’s what happened in that third. We scored some big goals and found a way to win.”
At the game, area athletes who won provincial championships or placed nationally were recognized. The achievements of 27 were honoured with 11 taking the ice on the special night.
On Friday in Wilcox, the Broncos battled back from a 3-2 deficit early in the third period to prevail 4-3 in overtime against the Notre Dame Hounds. Veteran forward Brayden Camrud had the game winner. The next night, back at the friendly confines of the Elgar Petersen Arena, Humboldt triumphed 4-2 over the Hounds thanks to a pair of third period goals.
“[On Friday, Jan. 25], we were able to tie it up in the third. We have been pretty successful in overtime and got a big win,” Barney said. “We kept the momentum going into [Saturday night].... It is an overall team effort.”
The Broncos are 8-2 in overtime this season. When the team gets extended to a shootout, it is 2-1.
Saturday’s game was the capper of Minor Hockey Day in Humboldt. Minor hockey games were held in the afternoon with a tailgate and bonfire taking place before the Broncos’ game.