Last week was a big one for the Humboldt Broncos.
The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League team earned three out of a possible six points on a three-games in as many days southern road trip. In addition, six Broncos players competed in front of scouts from various levels of hockey, including the NCAA Division I ranks, at the SJHL-Manitoba Junior Hockey League Showcase. The event pitted three teams of SJHL players against their MJHL counterparts.
As of Sunday, the Broncos had a 21-18-5-2 record. They were seventh in the SJHL with 49 points – three ahead of Estevan, who as the eighth-place team held down the last playoff berth.
Strong Road Trip
The Broncos’ road trip started with a 7-3 loss to Weyburn on Friday. A highlight of the contest for Humboldt was affiliated player Ben Worums-Rowe of the midget AAA Moose Jaw Warriors playing his first game with the team. His father, Michael, is a Broncos alum.
The next night, the Humboldt team came back from deficits of 2-0 and 4-3 at the intermissions in Estevan to force overtime. The Broncos earned a standings point in a 6-5 overtime loss. The Bruins’ Tanner Manz scored the winner.
Between periods in Estevan, the Humboldt team listened to 13-year-old Brayden Thompson. He has cystic fibrosis and frequently uses Saskatoon’s Ronald McDonald House, which was holding a fundraiser at the game. The Broncos’ Twitter account said that Thompson’s speech got the team pumped up.
On Sunday, Humboldt won 4-1 in Notre Dame. The team held leads of 1-0 and 2-1 at the intermissions. Michael Harroch made 32 saves for the Broncos. The victory came on what would have been Elgar Petersen’s 84th birthday.
The long-time Broncos volunteer trainer, equipment manager and supporter passed away in November of 2018 at the age of 82. The team will hold a birthday celebration, complete with birthday cake and a video presentation, at the Tuesday, Jan. 28 contest versus Kindersley. The squad is in Battlefords on Friday and then hosts the league-leading North Stars on Saturday.
Broncos forward Tristan Shewchuk led all SJHL scorers at the Showcase with five points. He had two goals and three assists for the SJHL Schwartz team.
“The Showcase was extremely fun,” Shewchuk said. “I really enjoyed the competitive atmosphere that was created by bringing in some of the best players of both leagues. Another part I enjoyed was getting to meet and create relationships with players that you play against throughout the year.”
Humboldt defenceman Cody Hough was partnered on the SJHL Schwartz blue line with teammate Jackson Bohan as well as Michael Neumeier of the Kindersley Klippers. He said it was fun playing with different guys from around the league.
“I think we all have a lot of respect for each other and there’s no bad blood,” Hough said. “Everyone on that team has the potential to be dangerous from the first line to the fourth.”
Hough recorded two assists at the Showcase. His Broncos and Schwartz teammates Logan Kurki and Karter McNarland also tallied two assists. Bohan had one assist. Their Humboldt teammate Luke Spadafora competed for SJHL Kunitz.
The SJHL went 2-4 at the Showcase. In the first two years, the Saskatchewan league had dominated the MJHL 9-3.
The Broncos last week
Friday, Jan. 24 in Weyburn
Weyburn 7, Humboldt 3
Broncos Scorers: Logan Kurki (2), Karter McNarland
Red Wings Scorers: Sebastian Eger (2), Nikolas Sombrowski (2), Jake Misskey, Kabir Gill, Dante Ballarin
Goalies: Noah Decottignies, Humboldt, 28 saves on 33 shots; Joseph Young, Weyburn, 35 on 38
Notes: The teams were tied at 1-1 and 2-2 at the intermissions. The Red Wings took a 4-2 lead in the third period thanks to two powerplay goals. McNarland cut the deficit to one. 4-3. However, the Red Wings scored on a powerplay and added two empty net markers.
Saturday, Jan. 25 in Estevan
Estevan 6, Humboldt 5 OT
Broncos Scorers: Spencer McHardy, Logan Kurki, Tristan Shewchuk, Logan Foster, Reid Arnold
Bruins Scorers: Cody Davis (2), Jayden Davis, Tanner Maz, Dain Sardelli, Kersey Reich
Goalies: Brendan Forman, Humboldt, 1 saves on 2 shots; Michael Harroch, Humboldt, 32 on 37; Keenan Rancier, Estevan, 32 on 37
Notes: Manz scored the winning goal in overtime. Estevan jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period. Humboldt outscored Estevan 3-2 in the second but trailed 4-3 at the last intermission. In the third period, Estevan increased its lead to 4-2 but Foster and then Kurki lit the lamp to tie the game. Kurki, Karter McNarland, Foster and Arnold all had two points.
Sunday, Jan. 26 in Wilcox
Humboldt 4, Notre Dame 1
Broncos Scorers: Logan Kurki, Graysen Cameron, Cade Cavallini, Tristan Shewchuk
Hounds Scorers: Gabriel Leblanc
Goalies: Michael Harroch, Humboldt, 32 saves on 33 shots; Riley Kohonick, Notre Dame, 48 on 51
Notes: The Broncos led 1-0 in the first period and 2-1 at the second intermission. Third period goals by Cavallini and Cameron, into an empty net, helped prevent a Hounds comeback. Captain Cameron recorded three points.
The Humboldt Broncos (20-18-5-2) have three games this week. The Kindersley Klippers (17-21-6-1) visit on Tuesday. The Broncos head to North Battlefords on Friday to take on the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League-leading North Stars (38-7-2-0). The same teams play again on Saturday at the Elgar Petersen Arena.