HUMBOLDT — A young Humboldt Broncos team has been thriving on the road early this season.
The squad went 3-0 last week and is on a four-game winning streak. All four victories, which lifted the Broncos to a 4-2-0-1 record, have come away from the Elgar Petersen Arena. What has allowed the team to be successful?
“The work ethic. I think the attention to detail,” head coach and general manager Scott Barney said. “They all want to get better. When you have 25 players who want to get better every day that makes our job easier.”
Barney also said that the players are buying into the way the Broncos want to play hockey and are competing among themselves for playing time. It has been positive competition and Barney praised the team’s camaraderie.
“I think a big thing is how well guys are really getting along on the ice and off the ice,” he said before emphasizing the large role the Broncos leadership group has played in helping create that.
This weekend the team plays a home-and-home series against the Melfort Mustangs, who were on a six-game winning streak and sat third in the league standings, as of Sunday, with a 6-2-0-0 record. On Friday, the teams play in Melfort. The next night they match up in Humboldt.
It will be the first time the Broncos have played in the Elgar Petersen Arena since their opening game of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League season back on Sept. 14. Since then they have played six games on the road. Barney said the organization tried to schedule some road games early in the season to give its young team an opportunity to bond.
“It is good to get on the road and get to know your teammates,” said Barney, who emphasized the team always gets great support in Humboldt.
Last week’s SJHL Showcase brought scouts from various levels of hockey to watch the league’s 12 teams to play in one place. At the Warman event, the Broncos, as the home team, beat Estevan 4-3 in overtime with Cody Hough scoring the winning goal. They also, as the visitors, beat Yorkton, 4-1, at the Showcase. The team capped its week with a strong 7-3 victory over Kindersley.
The Broncos have proven they can light the lamp. Humboldt has scored 29 goals – third most in the league – in seven games, as of Sunday. Logan Foster and Tristan Shewchuk have led the way.
Through the weekend, Foster paced Humboldt with 13 points, including three goals. His 10 assists ranked him second in the SJHL and his points placed him sixth.
Last season Shewchuk posted 20 points in 51 games as a rookie in Melville. In just seven games played the 18-year-old forward is already halfway to that total. Shewchuk has 10 points. His nine goals have him tied with Flin Flon’s Donavan Houle-Villeneuve for the league lead.
However, the Broncos are getting contributions from many players. Twelve different players have found the back of the net for the Broncos.
“Any given night, somebody is putting up points,” Barney said.
Lately one of those players is Bryson Cecconi. He has lit the lamp in four straight games. The second-year Bronco has seven points in as many games.
At the other end of the ice, the Broncos have received solid performances from their two rookie netminders. Barney said that both Michael Harroch and Brendan Forman have been keeping the team in games and have made big saves. The two 18-year-olds are pushing each other, their coach said.
SJHL Showcase: Monday, Sept. 23 in Warman
Humboldt 4, Estevan 3 OT
Broncos Scorers: Logan Foster 2, Bryson Cecconi, Cody Hough
Bruins Scorers: Griffin Asham-Moroz (2), Jayden Davis
Goalies: Brendan Forman, Humboldt, 35 saves on 38 shots; Keenan Rancier, Estevan, 43 on 47
Notes: Hough, a defenceman, scored the game winner. After trailing 1-0 and 2-1 at the intermissions, Humboldt held a 3-2 third-period lead. Asham-Moroz’s second goal sent the game into overtime. Foster had a three-point night.
SJHL Showcase: Wednesday, Sept. 25 in Warman
Humboldt 4, Yorkton 1
Broncos Scorers: Max Gudnason, Tristan Shewchuk, Logan Foster, Bryson Cecconi
Terriers Scorer: Chanz Petruic
Goalies: Michael Harroch, Humboldt, 37 saves on 38 shots; Cooper Kennedy, Yorkton, 49 on 53
Notes: The Broncos scored two goals in the first period and two more in the third. Yorkton’s lone goal came in the second period.
Friday, Sept. 27 in Kindersley
Humboldt 7, Kindersley 3
Broncos Scorers: Tristan Shewchuk (3), Josh Paulhus, Zach McIntyre, Reid Arnold, Bryson Cecconi
Klippers Scorers: Kyle Bosch, Ethan King, Dawson McKenzie
Goalies: Michael Harroch, Humboldt, 22 saves on 25 shots; Zach Johnson, Kindersley, 17 on 21; Matthew Presenti, Kindersley, 3 on 5
Notes: After a 2-0 first period lead, the Broncos outscored the Klippers, 4-1, in the second session. Spencer Weinkauf had two assists.
The Broncos play in Melfort on Friday night. On Saturday, after seven games away, they host the Mustangs in the Elgar Petersen Arena.