HUMBOLDT — The Humboldt Broncos galloped out of the gate to start the new Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League season.
On the road in Yorkton, the Humboldt squad led 7-2 at the second intermission en route to downing the host Terriers, 7-4, on Nov. 6. The two teams were to clash in the Broncos’ home opener the next day, but the contest was postponed due to weather. The game was slated to be played on Nov. 10 after the Journal’s deadline.
“It was really exciting to get back on the ice for a regular season game,” said Broncos forward Tristan Shewchuk, who racked up four points in the season opener. “There was a lot of build up and hard work that our team put in to get here so it was very exciting playing a regular season game. Everyone was super excited to get that first win. We put in a lot of work to this point so getting that first win was awesome.”
This weekend the Broncos are slated to host the Estevan Bruins on Friday at the Elgar Petersen Arena. The Saturday tilt between the two will be played down south. SJHL observers expect the Bruins to be a top team this season. In the first ever SJHL Coach’s Poll, released in October, the Broncos were ranked No. 1 with Flin Flon second and Estevan third. On opening weekend, the Bruins beat Melville, 4-3, on Friday and lost to the same squad, 6-3, on Saturday.
Three minutes and seven seconds into the Broncos’ season, rookie Carson Schultz scored his squad’s first goal of the campaign. When Yorkton tried to rim the puck, Humboldt defenceman Cody Hough was able to pick the puck off on the wall.
“Schultz was able to shake a defender and find open ice with his stick for a redirection in front of the net. I hit him with a … pass and he was able to slide it just under the goalie’s glove. “I feel like getting the first goal of the season was a big moment not only for Schultz but the whole team. We’ve been waiting for over two months for this and it felt really good to get on the scoreboard first but also see the hard work pay off.”
The Beaumont, Alta. product’s goal was the first of many offensive highlights last Friday for the Broncos, who forced the Terriers to deploy two netminders. Shewchuk lit the lamp twice on his way to four points. Logan Kurki, who led the SJHL in goals after Christmas last season, also scored twice – as did Luke Spadafora. Five Broncos recorded two assists: Shewchuk, newcomer Stephane Huard Jr and defencemen Hough, captain Doug Scott and homegrown product Logan Barlage. Shewchuk, Huard Jr., and Yorkton’s Carson Miller, who had two goals, were named the game’s three stars.
Humboldt led 3-1 after the first period and 7-2 after the second. The Terriers added a pair of powerplay goals in the third. New goaltender Tanner Marshall earned his first SJHL win. He stopped 36 shots.
The Broncos Last Week
Friday, Nov. 6 in Yorkton
Humboldt 7, Yorkton 4
Broncos Scorers: Logan Kurki (2), Tristan Shewchuk (2), Luke Spadafora (2), Carson Schultz
Terriers Scorers: Carson Miller (2), Ryan Ries, Brett Kemp
Goalies: Tanner Marshall, Humboldt, 39 on 43; Phillipe Bond, Yorkton, 10 on 15; Jacob Herman, Yorkton, 17 on 19
Notes: Shewchuk had four points. Rookie Schultz scored his first Junior A goal. Shewchuk, Stephane Huard Jr., Cody Hough, captain Doug Scott, and Humboldt’s own Noah Barlage each had two assists.
Saturday, Nov. 7 in Humboldt
Humboldt versus Yorkton was postponed to Nov. 10.
The Broncos host the Estevan Bruins on Nov 13. The teams play the next night in Estevan.