The Humboldt Broncos and Battlefords North Stars continue to have spotless records in Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League play.
Both squads went to overtime at least once last week but escaped with victories. Humboldt paces the SJHL with an 8-0 record. The Broncos’ Global Ag Risk Solutions Division foe – the North Stars – are 7-0. They are the lone undefeated squads in the SJHL.
“I think we have been successful because we came back to this season with guys in great shape,” North Stars head coach Brayden Klimosko said. “We also have lots of returning players so everyone knows the expectations here.”
As of Sunday, Battlefords was second on the league in goals against with 12. Yorkton paced the SJHL with nine and had played two fewer games than the North Stars. North Stars netminder Josh Kotai led the SJHL with a 0.94 goals against average as of Sunday.
Humboldt led the league in goals for with 41 with Battlefords second at 36. The Broncos have displayed their offensive talent and depth early this season. As of Sunday, Humboldt had four of the league’s top 12 scorers: Ethan Zielke (first, 14 points in eight games), Xavier Roy (fourth, 11), Ben Kotylak (seventh, 10), and Alec Saretzky (12th, nine).
Battlefords North Stars
Battlefords kept its winning streak alive with a 5-4 overtime victory last Friday night on the road in Melfort. Jake Southgate knotted the score at 4-4 with just over five minutes remaining in the third period. Kian Bell scored the game winner just 27 seconds into overtime.
Earlier in the week the North Stars were 2-0 at the SJHL Showcase in Warman with a pair of shutouts. Josh Kotai stopped all 27 shots he faced on Tuesday in an 8-0 romp over Weyburn. Keiton Klein led the way with two goals for the North Stars. On Wednesday, Battlefords prevailed 2-0 over Melfort with Kotai making 26 saves. Wilson Steele scored for the North Stars in the first period. Steven Kesslering added an empty net marker.
The Nort Stars play in La Ronge on Tuesday. Then the squad begins an eight-game homestand. It starts with the Weyburn Red Wings visiting for Friday and Saturday tilts.
At the Showcase, the Broncos galloped past La Ronge, 10-3, and beat Estevan, 5-4. Against the Ice Wolves, 12 Broncos recorded at least a point. Zielke and Kotylak both scored hattricks with the former recording five points. Maddox Amaral had two goals for Humboldt. Versus Estevan, Daylan Weigel scored at the 18:33 mark to knot the contest at 4-4. Cage Newans had the game winner with 15 seconds remaining.
In La Ronge on Friday, the Broncos shut out the Ice Wolves, 2-0. Tristan Bolieau stopped 37 shots to earn his first SJHL shutout. On Saturday, the Broncos kept their win streak alive with a 5-4 overtime victory. Flynn Maxcy tied the game for La Ronge with just less than four minutes remaining. Timothy Kim scored the game winner for his third point of the night. The Broncos sent 54 shots at La Ronge goalie Dawson Smith.
The Humboldt squad won its third game in as many days with a 2-1 overtime victory in Flin Flon on Sunday. After the Bombers took a 1-0 second period lead on a powerplay, Zielke answered in the third with a powerplay marker of its own. Roy scored the game winner. Bolieau made 30 saves.
The Broncos host the Ice Wolves on Tuesday. On Friday, the team is in Nipawin. The Melville Millionaires visit the Elgar Petersen Arena on Saturday.
In Warman, the Mustangs shut out the Notre Dame Hounds, 4-0, on Tuesday. Joel Favreau stopped all 29 shots he saw. The next day Meflort was shut out 2-0 by Battlefords. On Friday in Melfort, the North Stars prevailed, 5-4, in overtime.
The Mustangs bounced back by galloping past the Notre Dame Hounds, 6-1. Leyton Holoien and Riley Ashe each had two goals and three points for Melfort. Defenceman Hayden Tuba led the team with four points, including a goal. Mustangs goalie James Venne made 18 saves.
Last week the Melfort swapped 20-year-old forward Trenton Curtis to the La Ronge Ice Wolves for forward Tye Evans and a player development fee. A Grande Prairie product, Evans had four assists in five games for La Ronge this season. Evans, who turns 19 later this month, played 13 games for Melfort last season before joining the Ice Wolves and collecting 22 points in 33 games.
The 3-3-2-0 Mustangs open this week on the road in Melville on Tuesday. The team is in La Ronge on Friday and returns home Saturday to host the Estevan Bruins.
After opening the SJHL Showcase with a 3-0 loss to Yorkton on Sept. 25, the Hawks beat Estevan 3-1 on Wednesday. Nolan McDowell allowed in one goal on 31 shots. Maguire Ratzlaff had two points.
On Friday at home, the Hawks fell 4-3 in overtime to the Notre Dame Hounds. Alex Ochitwa forced overtime with a goal in the final two minutes of the third period. Notre Dame’s Jaryd Sych scored the overtime winner.
After Nipawin led 2-0 at the first intermission on Saturday, the host Flin Flon Bombers reeled off four unanswered goals. Nipawin got one back in the third but were unable to tie the game. Flin Flon won 4-3.
The 3-4-1-0 Hawks are on the road this week. They play in Notre Dame on Wednesday and Weyburn on Thursday. On Friday, the club is in Estevan.
La Ronge Ice Wolves
After their previously reported 4-1 victory over Kindersley at the SJHL Showcase, the Ice Wolves fell 10-3 to Humboldt in Warman on Monday. On the weekend, the Broncos won 2-0 and 5-4 in La Ronge.
The 3-3-1-0 squad faces the North Stars on Tuesday at home. The Melfort Mustangs visit on Friday.
Last week the Ice Wolves added Curtis from the Ice Wolves for Evans. Curtis had not registered a point in four games for Melfort this season after scoring 12 and posting 41 points in 46 games last season. La Ronge also added 18-year-old defenceman Kaycee Coyle and a third-round pick in the 2023 SJHL Draft for a first round pick in the 2023 SJHL draft and a player development fee. Coyle is a rookie from Winnipeg.
The Kindersley Klippers earned their first win of the season by giving the Yorkton Terriers their first loss of the season. It came last Monday in Warman after the Klippers fell on Sunday, 4-1 to La Ronge, at the Showcase. Cash Arntsen put the Klippers up 1-0 on the first period. Karsten Kruska tied things up for Yorkton in the second. In the third period, Brayden Koch scored on the powerplay to help the Klippers to a 2-1 victory. Logan Falk made 26 saves for Kindersley.
Last week the Klippers acquired Ethan Scriven from Battlefords for a player development fee. He had 15 points in 42 games for the North Stars as an 18-year last season. He has neither played for Battlefords nor Kindersley this season. The Klippers added 18-year-old defenceman Jacob Dewitt from the Merritt Centennials. Going the other way was the rights to Michael Neumeier, who is with the North American Hockey League’s Bismarck Bobcats. Dewitt had 10 points last
season in 42 games for Merritt. He also played three games for the Western Hockey League’s Regina Pats.
The 1-3-0-2 Klippers are in Flin Flon for games on Friday and Saturday. They then return to Kindersley to open a six-game homestand.
The Millionaires earned a 4-3 win over the Notre Dame Hounds last Monday in Warman. Melville led 1-0 and 3-2 at the intermissions. The Millionaires’ Carter McKay scored two goals, while Zach Cain had three points.
On Tuesday at the SJHL Showcase, Melville fell 5-4 to Flin Flon in overtime. After trailing 2-1 at the end of the first and 3-2 at the end of the second and falling behind 4-2 early in the third, Payton Kostyshyn and Brayden Fryfogle both lit the lamp for Melville to tie the game at 4-4. Jaxon Martens had the game winner in OT for Flin Flon.
Weyburn beat Melville, 2-1, at home on Saturday. All of the game’s scoring occurred in the first period.
This week the 2-3-1-0 Millionaires host the Mustangs on Tuesday and the Terriers on Friday. The team heads to Yorkton on Saturday.
Notre Dame Hounds
At the SJHL Showcase, the Hounds fell 4-3 to Melville on Monday and 4-0 to Melfort on Tuesday. The Hounds earned a 4-3 overtime victory on the road in Nipawin on Friday. Captain Jaryd Sych scored just 30 seconds into overtime to give the Hounds the win. Antoine St-Onge led Notre Dame with three points, including a goal. Ashton Billesberger backstopped the Hounds to the victory with 25 saves. Notre Dame lost 6-1 to Melfort on the road on Saturday.
The 2-5-0-0 Hounds start a four-game homestand by hosting the Estevan Bruins on Tuesday. The Nipawin Hawks visit the next day.