HUMBOLDT — Last Friday night the Humboldt Broncos’ youth seemed to mesh perfectly with its veterans as the team earned an overtime victory on the road.
The Broncos downed the Melfort Mustangs, 5-4, in OT. Two of Humboldt’s goals were scored by 20-year-olds, while the three others – including the game winner – were contributed by rookies. Sixteen-year-old forward Karter McNarland of Saskatoon scored the winner in impressive fashion.
“He made a couple quick moves and put the puck to the glove side of the goalie and beat him high glove,” Humboldt head coach Scott Barney said. “Karter is a pass-first type player and was good to see him use his shot and hope he continues to use it more every game.”
The next night the Broncos were unable to keep the Mustangs from galloping. At the Elgar Petersen Arena, Melfort won 7-4. The Mustangs used a four-goal second period to take a 4-3 lead after trailing 2-0 at the first intermission.
With a split in the home-and-home series, the Broncos had a 5-3-0-1 record. The team has a busy week with three games in as many nights. The Broncos host Flin Flon on Thursday, play in Nipawin on Friday, and welcome the La Ronge Ice Wolves to town on Saturday.
Last Friday night the Broncos found their groove in the second period against Melfort. They had entered the frame trailing 1-0 but lit the lamp three times to take a 3-2 lead into the third period.
“The biggest thing was sticking to our game plan and putting pucks to the net and winning our one-versus-one battles in the D-zone and offensive zone,” Barney said.
Isaak Leik, an 18-year-old rookie, scored Humboldt’s first goal. That was followed by a marker by Broncos captain Graysen Cameron. It was the first of the campaign for the 20-year-old who missed last season recovering from the April 6, 2018 bus crash tragedy. Bryson Cecconi, a 20-year-old in his second season with Humboldt, put the Broncos up 3-1.
The Mustangs scored in the second period to make the score 3-2 and tied things up 3-3 in the third. Max Gudnason, an 18-year-old first-year player, scored to give Humboldt the lead back. However, the Mustangs’ Tyson Meyers scored his second of the period to force overtime. In OT, McNarland found the back of the net.
It was a big night for the team’s young players. Gudnason, who hails from Wynyard, had three points on the night. Eighteen-year-old rookie defenceman Cody Hough from Maple Ridge, B.C. had two assists. Fellow rookie 18-year-old Brendan Forman of Vernon, B.C. made 24 saves. Hometown product Noah Barlage, a defenceman, recorded his second assist of the season.
Both Barlage and McNarland are both 2003-born 16-year-olds. They have earned their way into the lineup. Of McNarland, Barney said:
“Karter has been in our top six forwards every night for us so far this season. His vision and hockey IQ are what makes him such a top talent at his age in our league. We are very happy to have him in Humboldt.”
The Broncos Last Week
Friday, Oct. 5 in Melfort
Humboldt 5, Melfort 4 OT
Broncos Scorers: Graysen Cameron, Karter McNarland, Mad Gudnason, Bryson Cecconi, Isaac Leik
Mustangs Scorers: Tyson Meyers (2), Zach Anderson, Christian Albertson
Goalies: Brendan Forman, Humboldt, 24 saves on 28 shots; Tanner Martin, Melfort, 36 on 41
Notes: Sixteen-year-old forward McNarland’s first of the season was the game winner. After Melfort led 1-0 at the first intermission, Humboldt held a 3-2 lead at the second. Gudnason had three points on the night. Broncos defenceman Cody Hough recorded two assists.
Saturday, Oct. 6 in Humboldt
Melfort 7, Humboldt 4
Broncos Scorers: Logan Foster, Justin Jamer, Jackson Bohan, Kade Olsen
Mustangs Scorers: Marco Lopez (4), Nolan Kadachuk, Zack Smith, Kenzie Arnold
Goalies: Shawn Parkinson, Melfort, 25 saves on 29 shots; Michael Harroch, Humboldt, 27 on 34
Notes: The Broncos galloped out to a 2-0 first period lead. The Mustangs outscored the hosts, 4-1, in the second period to take the lead. Both teams had two powerplay goals.
The Broncos play three games in as many days this week. The club hosts Flin Flon on Thursday before heading to Nipawin on Friday. The Broncos cap the weekend by hosting La Ronge on Saturday.