HUMBOLDT — Home sweet EPA.
For the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey players, the Elgar Petersen Arena is truly a home away from home. The players, who spend countless hours there, appreciate the complex and its history. Many pictures and banners that decorate the arena
“The EPA is an unreal rink to play in,” said 18-year-old forward Zach McIntyre, who is in his second season with the team. “The atmosphere has been great over the year I played in the EPA. The banners give you more of a reason to play and to push yourself to play for the banners up there.”
After playing just one of their first eight games in the EPA, the Broncos are now having a chance to enjoy home ice advantage. The team is in the midst of a seven-game stretch where they play five contests at home.
The Broncos play Notre Dame in Wilcox on Saturday and then host those N.D. Hounds on Oct. 22 and Flin Flon on Oct. 24. They are obviously thrilled to stay at home and compete in front of their enthusiastic backers.
“As most people can tell, we have a really good fan base here in Humboldt,” said Logan Foster, a 20-year-old forward who led the team in scoring, as of last Thursday. “It’s better to play at home and the EPA is always rocking on game nights. As a team, it helps us get that extra bit of energy. When the fans are in the game, the whole team is in the game.”
As of last Thursday, in a small sample size, the Broncos were at 1-2 at home, including a contest as the home team at the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League Showcase in Warman. Last season the team sported an 18-10-1-0 home record.
On Nov. 3, 2018, the Broncos’ home arena’s namesake passed away. Petersen was 82. Born in 1936, he grew up in a farm near Annaheim. He moved with his family to Humboldt in 1962. Shortly after he arrived, Petersen started volunteering with various sports teams. With the founding of the Broncos in 1970, he became the team trainer and equipment manager. Petersen was inducted into the Humboldt and District Sports Hall of Fame in 1998 and the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame in 2015.
The Uniplex Arena was renamed for Petersen on Sept. 15, 2000 at that season’s home opener for the Broncos. The Uniplex itself turned 30 in 2013.
The Broncos Last Week
Thursday, Oct. 10 in Humboldt
Humboldt 3, Flin Flon 2
Broncos Scorers: Graysen Cameron, Connor Nolan, Braiden Koran
Bombers Scorers: Donovan Houle-Villeneuve (2)
Goalies: Brendan Forman, Humboldt, 30 saves on 32 shots; Matt Sanker, Flin Flon, 35 on 38
Notes: Flin Flon led 2-0 in the first period and 2-1 at both intermissions. Nolan scored with 18:24 gone in the third period to tie things up. Twenty-four second later, Koran put home the game winner.
Friday, Oct. 11 in Nipawin
Nipawin 7, Humboldt 2
Broncos Scorers: Zach McIntyre, Tristan Shewchuk
Hawks Scorers: Burke Simpson (2), Brodie Girod (2), Zach Cox (2), Jake Tremblay
Goalies: Brendan Forman, Humboldt, 15 saves on 21 shots; Dawson Cochrane, Humboldt, 5 on 6; Ross Hawryluk, Nipawin, 20 on 22
Notes: Former Melfort resident Dawson Cochrane, who played midget AA in Humboldt, made his season debut for the Broncos. He has been with the Junior B Saskatoon Royals. Nipawin led 2-0 after the first period and 6-1 after the second.
Saturday, Oct. 12 in Humboldt
Humboldt 6, La Ronge 3
Broncos Scorers: Zach McIntyre, Jared Shuter, Spencer Weinkauf, Bryson Cecconi, Chase Felgueiras, Kade Olsen
Ice Wolves Scorers: Kyle Ford (2), Zach Bannister
Goalies: Brendan Forman, Humboldt, 37 saves on 40 shots; Steven Bacovsky, La Ronge, 41 on 47
Notes: Humboldt grabbed a 2-0 first-period lead. The Ice Wolves tied things up in the second period with two goals, but Weinkauf’s marker put Humboldt ahead. The Broncos outscored La Ronge, 3-1, in the final period. McIntyre recorded four points, including three assists, while Felgueiras had three points. In his second game with the Broncos, Shuter had two points.
After playing three games in as many days last week and going 2-1, the Humboldt Broncos had a 7-4-0-1 record, as of Sunday. They sat fifth in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League standings.
The Broncos’ lone game this week is Saturday when they play the Notre Dame Hounds in Wilcox. On Oct. 22, the team hosts Notre Dame before the Flin Flon Bombers come to town on Oct. 24.