HUMBOLDT — The Humboldt Broncos started off 2020 by earning three out of a possible four points last weekend.
The Broncos fell on Friday night to Yorkton on the road in overtime, 7-6. That gave them a point in the standings and they added two more on Saturday with a 6-5 home victory over the Terriers. Head coach Scott Barney was pleased with the character in the room that allowed the team to rebound after Friday’s loss and to come back from a 3-0 deficit to win on Saturday.
“Hopefully, it will be a big turning point in our season,” he said.
As of Sunday, the Broncos had a 17-15-4-2 record. They sat seventh in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League standings.
To earn their first victory of 2020, the Broncos staged an impressive comeback. On Saturday, they trailed the third-place Terriers, 3-0, after the first period. Humboldt lit the lamp six times consecutively – twice in the second and four times in the third – to a 6-3 lead. The Terriers scored twice but Humboldt held on.
What keyed the comeback? Barney said character and “guys willing to realize when we are playing well, we’re moving our feet and getting involved in the game. I didn’t think we were doing that in the first period. It was a big character win and hopefully it snowballs here.”
On Friday, Humboldt led 4-1 and 4-3 at the intermissions. The squad was up 6-3 in the third period. Yorkton was able to close regulation with three straight goals to send the game into overtime. Yorkton’s Chanz Petruic had the game winner.
Friday is the trade deadline for the SJHL and the Canadian Junior Hockey League. Not only do trades stop after that date, but teams also must be down to 23 players.
Last week, ahead of the deadline, the Broncos acquired 19-year-old goalie Noah Decottignies from Weyburn. The team picked him up in exchange for 18-year-old forward Isaac Leik (four points in 23 games) and a player development fee. Decottignies, a Calgary product, had a 3.06 goals against average and a .912 save percentage this season in Weyburn. Barney said Decottignies made some big saves on Friday night in his debut.
The Broncos started the season with the 18-year-old goaltending duo of Brendan Forman and Michael Harroch. Injuries and sickness have limited Harroch to 10 games, while Forman had played in 25. Humboldt’s own Dawson Cochrane, who plays for the Junior B Saskatoon Royals, has appeared in six games as an affiliated player. Sixteen-year-old AP Brett Mirwald of the midget AAA Saskatoon Blazers has also played in two games.
The Broncos hope to have Harroch back soon. In a Monday interview, Barney said that although things can change the plan is to go with three netminders.
The Broncos last week
Friday, Jan. 3 in Yorkton
Yorkton 7, Humboldt 6 OT
Broncos Scorers: Tristan Shewchuk (2), Logan Foster (2), Logan Kurki, Reid Arnold
Terriers Scorers: Chantz Petruic (2), Brett LeGrandeur (2), Kaeden Taphorn (2), Alec Zawatsky
Goalies: Noah Decottignies, Humboldt, 33 saves on 40 shots; Ryan Oullette, Yorkton, 25 on 31
Notes: The Broncos grabbed a 4-1 first period lead. The Terriers scored twice in the second to trail 4-3. With two third period goals, Humboldt increased its lead to 6-3. The Terriers scored three unanswered goals to tie the contest at 6-6. Petruic collected his seventh point of the night with the OT winner. Foster and Shewchuk each had four points.
Saturday, Jan. 4 in Humboldt
Humboldt 6, Yorkton 5
Broncos Scorers: Logan Kurki (2), Luke Spadafora (2), Max Gudnason, Tristan Shewchuk
Terriers Scorers: Chantz Petruic (2), Jordan Guiney (2), Evan Sare
Goalies: Noah Decottignies, Humboldt, 0 saves on 2 shots; Brendan Forman, Humboldt, 26 on 29; Phillipe Bond, Yorkton, 44 on 50
Notes: Yorkton took a 3-0 lead in the first period. The Broncos scored six straight goals – two in the second and four in the third – to take lead. Yorkton capped the game by scoring three goals but Humboldt held on for the win. Petruic recorded his 50th goal of the season.
The Humboldt Broncos (17-15-4-2) play three games this week. The team hosts Notre Dame (15-19-3-1) on Tuesday. The Broncos hit the road on Thursday to play Kindersley (14-19-5-1). The two teams meet again on Saturday at the Elgar Petersen Arena