HUMBOLDT — While many Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League teams were wheeling and dealing last week, the Humboldt Broncos weren’t making too many moves on the ice.
The team posted a 2-1 record last week. The Broncos enter this week as winners of three of their last four games.
“I think the biggest reason we have won three of the last four games is the work ethic, the compete level, and buying into our system,” Humboldt head coach Scott Barney said. “It’s great to see it here and hopefully it continues going forward.”
As of Sunday, Humboldt had a 19-16-4-2 record. With 44 points, the Broncos sat seventh in the SJHL standings. Nipawin (23-17-2-0) was four points ahead with 48 in sixth, while Estevan (18-17-3-1) had 40 and were in eighth. The top eight teams make the playoffs this season.
Many teams in the SJHL and all over Canada were making moves last week ahead of or on the Jan. 10 national trade deadline. Believing in their young group, the Broncos opted to stand pat and did not make any deals that were announced.
However, the team received a big addition with the return of Chase Lacombe. The 17-year-old defenceman from Moose Jaw had been in the Western Hockey League with the Swift Current Broncos. The 6-foot-1, 195-pounder had a goal in 17 games for Swift Current.
“He’s a welcome addition,” Barney said. “A really steady, stay-at-home D-man who will help us on the D side of the game in our end and on the penalty kill. He’s a great kid in the locker room and we’re really excited to have him back with the Broncos.”
Last Tuesday the Broncos beat Notre Dame, 3-2, at the Elgar Petersen Arena. After a 1-1 first period, Humboldt took a 2-1 lead in the second and went up 3-1 in the third. Spencer McHardy paced the winners in points with two assists.
On the road on Thursday, the Broncos lost 5-2 to Kindersley. The game was knotted at 2-2 after the first period.
Humboldt avenged the loss in an 8-1 romp at home on Saturday. Logan Foster scored a hat trick and led the squad with five points. Six Broncos scored and 16 recorded at least a point. Goaltender Brendan Forman made 22 saves.
“I think the biggest part of that game on Saturday night was just the work ethic start to finish,” Barney said. “Every play, every shift, the guys were battling, competing right to the last whistle.”
Six Broncos were selected for the SJHL-Manitoba Junior Hockey League Showcase. The event, to be held Jan. 21-22 in Regina, pits many of the two league’s top players against each other. Chosen for the 2001 and younger Team Schwartz – White were Humboldt defencemen Cody Hough and Jackson Bohan as well as forwards Logan Kurki, Tristan Shewchuk, and Karter McNarland. Nineteen-year-old forward Luke Spadafora is on Team Kunitz – Blue.
The Broncos last week
Tuesday, Jan. 7 in Humboldt
Humboldt 3, Notre Dame 2
Broncos Scorers: Josh Paulhus, Karter McNarland, Tristan Shewchuk
Hounds Scorers: Braydon Iwaschuk, Jake Dale
Goalies: Brendan Forman, Humboldt, 24 saves on 26 shots; Riley Kohonick, Notre Dame, 42 on 45
Notes: The victory gave the Broncos their first winning streak since Nov. 21. The teams traded goals in the first period. Shewchuk scored in the second to put Humboldt up 2-1. Paulhus extended the lead to 3-1. Notre Dame cut the lead to one, 3-2, but couldn’t tie it up.
Thursday, Jan. 9 in Kindersley
Kindersley 5, Humboldt 2
Broncos Scorer: Logan Foster (2)
Klippers Scorers: Noah Lindsay (2), Hunter Larocque, Tyler Traptow, Liam Fraser
Goalies: Noah Decottignies, Humboldt, 23 saves on 27 shots; Matt Sanker, Kindersley, 24 on 26
Notes: After the Klippers opened the scoring, Foster lit the lamp twice in the first period to give Humboldt a 2-1 lead in the first period. Kindersley tied things up before the first intermission. The Klippers extended their lead with two goals in the second period and one in the third.
Saturday, Jan. 11 in Humboldt
Humboldt 8, Kindersley 1
Broncos Scorers: Logan Foster (3), Spencer McHardy, Luke Spadafora, Max Gudnason, Tristan Shewchuk, Justin Jamer
Klippers Scorer: Liam Fraser
Goalies: Brendan Forman, Humboldt, 22 saves on 23 shots; Matt Sanker, Kindersley, 2 on 3; Steven Bacovsky, Kindersley, 38 on 45
Notes: The Broncos led 2-1 after the first period. A four-game second session put Humboldt on top 6-1. Sixteen Broncos had at least a point. Foster recorded five points. He had five goals and eight points over the course of three games last week.
The Humboldt Broncos (19-16-4-2) tangle with the Melfort Mustangs (22-13-3-1) in a home and home series this weekend. The teams play in Melfort on Friday and at the Elgar Petersen Arena on Saturday.