Last week the Humboldt Broncos beat the league-leading Battlefords North Stars twice while the Nipawin Hawks kept flying.
The Humboldt Broncos handed the Battlefords North Stars just their second and third regulation losses of the season on the weekend. In Humboldt on Friday, the hosts triumphed 4-3. The next night, in Martensville as part of Hockey Day in Saskatchewan, the Broncos won 4-2.
Following the weekend tilts, the North Stars continued to top the SJHL standings with a 34-3-21 record and 71 points. The Broncos (26-11-1-0, 53 points), on a four-game winning streak, sat third behind Battlefords and La Ronge (25-13-3-1).
The Nipawin Hawks earned three victories last week to extend their winning streak to five games. They had the longest current streak in the league entering this week. As of Sunday, the squad was 20-17-1-1 on the season. Head coach Tad Kozun said he has been most pleased with his team’s work ethic during this streak.
“The guys are buying in and everyone is sticking together through it all,” he said.
Humboldt Broncos (26-11-1-0)
On Friday night, Cage Newans scored at 17:21 of the third period to lift the Broncos past the league-leading North Stars, 4-3, with 1,403 looking on. In the last 10 minutes of the frame, Battlefords had scored twice on a five-mute powerplay to turn a 3-1 early third period deficit into a tied hockey game, 3-3. Goalie Jared Picklyk made 28 saves for Humboldt, while Josh Kotai stopped 46 shots for Battlefords, which won 4-3. The Broncos’ other goal scorers were Quinn Myles, Alec Saretzky, and Ethan Zielke.
On Saturday in Martensville, the Broncos led 1-0 and 3-0 at the intermissions on their way to 4-2 victory. Humboldt scored twice on its three powerplay opportunities. Timothy Kim, Chase Lacombe, Saretzky, and Newans. Goalie Benjamin Motew earned the win with 24 saves for Humboldt. Kotai stopped 46 of 50 shots.
In their first of three games last week, the Broncos beat the Kindersley Klippers, 6-2, in Humboldt on Jan. 18. The hosts led 2-1 and 3-1 at the intermissions. Six different players scored for the Broncos. Rookie Matthew Van Blaricom collected his seventh goal in 15 games since joining the team.
Nipawin Hawks (20-17-1-1)
With Braxton Buckberger lighting the lamp twice, the Hawks built up a 3-1 lead against Yorkton on the road on Jan. 17. They held on to win 3-2. Carson Dobson had Nipawin’s other marker. Hawks goalie Jackson Fellner made 25 saves.
The next night, in Melville, the Hawks beat the Millionaires, 3-2. Maguire Ratzlaff scored in the first period before Reid McKay, shorthanded, and Joel Mabin lit the lamp in the second to give Nipawin a 3-0 advantage. Melville scored twice in the third but were unable to tie things up. For the Hawks, Damon Cunningham turned away 36 shots.
In Rosetown with 914 looking on Saturday, the Hawks got by the Kindersley Klippers, 3-2, in a shootout. Only one of the Klippers’ two shooters scored in the shootout while all three Hawks found the back of the net: Alex Ochitwa, Carson Dobson, and Alex Johnson.
Buckberger opened the game’s scoring in the first. The Klippers equalized before the end of the period. Buckberger got his second of the game to put the Hawks up 2-1. The Klippers tied it up in the third. Fellner had 16 saves, while Cody Jaman of Kindersley stopped 31 of 33 shots.
La Ronge Ice Wolves (25-13-3-1)
The Ice Wolves played plenty of hockey last week. Three of their four contests went at least to overtime. The La Ronge team lost 4-3 in overtime to Battlefords on Jan. 17. They opened the weekend with a 5-4 shootout victory over Estevan at home on Jan. 20. Ice Wolves captain Walker Jerome was the only shooter out of six in total to score in the shootout. Estevan led 2-1 after the first period. The game was tied 3-3 after two. Scoring for La Ronge in regulation were Rylan Silzer, Jerome, Dallyn Peekeekoot and Liam McInnis.
The ice Wolves romped past the Bruins 6-1 the next night. La Ronge was three-for-eight on the powerplay. The Ice Wolves killed off all five of Estevan’s man-advantage opportunities. Ethan Strik led La Ronge with two goals. Also scoring for the Ice Wolves were Lleyton Shearon, Dylan Handel, Jerome, and Thomas Wright. Topher Chirico made 37 saves on 38 shots.
On Sunday at home, the Ice Wolves closed out the weekend with a 3-2 overtime victory against Notre Dame. Connor Abric scored the game winner at the 1:20 mark in overtime. Notre Dame scored in the second period to lead 1-0. Ice Wolves forward Dylan Handel’s two third period goals were sandwiched around one by the Hounds. La Ronge goalie Dawson Smith made 35 saves.
Battlefords North Stars (34-3-2-1)
After falling in regulation for the first time in regulation this season, 5-0 on Jan. 14 to Estevan, the North Stars bounded back to beat La Ronge in overtime, 4-3, on the road on Jan. 17. Holden Doell scored the game winner on an OT powerplay. In Humboldt last Friday, the Broncos prevailed 4-3 and them 4-2 in Martensville on Saturday.
Melfort Mustangs (20-12-5-2)
The Mustangs went 1-1-0-1 last week. The team lost 3-2 on the road to the Notre Dame Hounds on Jan. 17 in Wilcox. Last Friday the Mustangs galloped past the Hounds, 7-1, in Melfort. Mustangs goalie James Venne backstopped the squad to victory with 33 saves. Scoring for Melfort were Wyatt Day, Ben Tkachuk, Dawson Leroux, Clarke Huxley, Wyatt Cook, Tye Evans, and Kevin Minnoch. The Mustangs were two-for-six on the powerplay.
On Saturday night, the Mustangs lost 3-2 on the road in Yorkton. The teams each scored once in the first and third periods with Leyton Holoien and Minnoch doing the honours for Melfort. In the shootout, Terrier Maddux Nollski was the only one of a six shooters who was able to score.
Melville Millionaires (10-23-5-1)
The Melville Millionaires were unable to secure a victory in their three games last week but picked up a point in an OT loss. The Millionaires lost 3-2 to the Nipawin Hawks at home on Jan. 18. In Weyburn last Friday, the Melville squad fell 4-1 to the Red Wings.
On Saturday, at home, Melville fought back from a 2-1 first period deficit to tie things up with Weyburn in the second. The hosts started the third by scoring twice to lead 4-2. The Red Wings fought back to tie the game up at 4-4 and force overtime. Ryley Morgan had the game winner
for Weyburn. Scoring for Melville were Colby Ball, Carter McKay, Jaxon Martens, and Felix Beauchemin.
Notre Dame Hounds (13-18-3-2)
The Hounds announced last week that 19-yer-old forward Evan Vanden Heuvel has committed to study and play at University of Wisconsin – Stout. The NCAA Division III school’s campus in Menomonie Is about a three hour’s drive away from his hometown of Appleton.
The Notre Dame squad was 1-2-1-0 last week. In Wilcox, the Hounds came from behind to beat the Melfort Mustangs, 3-2, on Jan. 17. Melfort got out to a 2-0 first period lead before Jacob Ligi got the Hounds on the board. The Mustangs led 2-1 at the first intermission. Neither team scored in the second session. In the third Rocsyn Bird tied up the game at 2-2. Dane Probe delivered the game winner.
The Hounds fell on the road 7-1 to Melfort on Friday and 5-2 to Flin Flon on Saturday. In La Ronge on Sunday, Notre Dame picked up a point in the standings in a 3-2 overtime loss to La Ronge.
Kindersley Klippers (7-21-2-5)
Klippers captain Brayden Koch committed to the University of Alberta - Augustana Campus. The Vikings compete in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference. Koch, who turned 21 earlier this month, hails from Lloydminster.
The Kindersley squad lost twice last week. In Humboldt on Jan. 18, the Broncos won 6-2. On Jan. 21 in Rosetown, the host Klippers lost 3-2 in a shootout to the Nipawin Hawks. Spencer Paplawski scored Kindersley’s first goal, while Aidan Taylor’s third period marker knotted the contest at 2-2.