After a regular season in which the Battlefords North Stars only lost three games at home, the Weyburn Red Wings beat them in the North Battleford Civic Center on the opening night of the playoffs.
The Red Wings opened their Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League postseason with a 3-2 victory over the top-seeded North Stars last Friday. Battlefords came back to beat No. No. 8 Weyburn, 5-2, on Saturday to knot the series at 1-1. Kian Bell powered the North Stars with four goals.
The No. 2 Humboldt Broncos swept the first two games of their best-of-seven series against the No. 7 Nipawin Hawks. The Flin Flon Bombers, the third seed, also won both of their weekend games. No. 6 Estevan now hosts the next two games. The No. 4 Melfort Mustangs and No. 5 La Ronge Ice Wolves split their series.
No. 1 North Stars 1, No. 8 Red Wings 1
In the second period Friday, Kian Bell scored first for Battlefords. The Red Wings responded with goals by Ty Mason and Ryley Morgan. Jackson Hassman made it 3-1 Weyburn in the third. In the final minute, Kieton Keith scored to pull the North Stars within one, but they were unable to tie things up. Josh Kotai made 25 saves for Battlefords. Weyburn’s Dazza Mitchell stopped 39 shots.
En route to tying the series at 1-1, Battlefords led 2-1 and 3-1 at the intermissions on Saturday. Weyburn scored first and the North Stars answered with three straight goals. In addition to Bell’s four goals, Steven Kesslering scored for Battlefords. Kotai had 33 saves.
Blake Norris and Nolan Henderson scored Weyburn’s goals. Mitchell recorded 39 saves.
No. 2 Broncos 2, No. 7 Hawks 0
At home, the Humboldt team scored 12 goals and only allowed two as it beat Nipawin twice to take a 2-0 series lead. Jared Picklyk made 33 saves in a 5-1 game one win. Benjamin Motew stopped 33 shots in a 7-1 game two victory.
On Friday night, the Broncos came out strong and grabbed a 3-0 lead. They led 5-1 after each of the next two periods. Lucas Ceccarelli scored two for Humboldt. Spencer Bell, Cage Newans and Ben Kotylak also lit the lamp for the Broncos. Alex Johnson had Nipawin’s lone goal.
Humboldt also had a strong start on Saturday. They were up 3-0 and 4-0 at the intermissions. Maddox Amaral and Bell each had two goals for Humboldt. Also scoring for Humboldt were Xavier Roy, Alec Saretzky, and Newans. Jackson Fellner started in goal for the Hawks and made 21 saves on 25 shots. Damon Cunningham came on in relief and stopped 18 of the 21 shots he faced.
No. 3 Bombers 2, No. 6 Bruins
At the historic Whitney Forum, the Bombers used their home ice advantage to take a 2-0 lead over the Bruins.
On Friday, the Bombers grabbed a 3-0 lead on their way to a 4-1 win. Harmon Laser-Hume made 29 saves. Four different Bombers scored.
On Saturday, the teams were knotted at 1-1 after the first period. The Bombers extended their lead to 2-1. Flin Flon scored three goals in the third while Estevan had one for a 5-2 final score. Laser-Hume had 27 saves. Jacob Vockler recorded a goal and three points for Flin Flon.
No. 4 Mustangs 1, No. 5 Ice Wolves 1
On the road, the Ice Wolves took game one of the series, 3-1. Melfort’s Adam Hutchinson opened the scoring in the first period. La Ronge answered with goals by Jacob Cossette and Dallyn Peekeekoot to make it 2-1 Ice Wolves at the first intermission. Neither team scored in the second session. Kale Taylor added a goal for a La Ronge in the third.
In the win, Dawson Smith turned away all but one of the 35 shots he faced. For Melfort, Joel Favreau stopped 14 shots.
On Saturday night, the host Mustangs came from behind to win 3-2 in overtime. In the first period, Thomas Wright put La Ronge up 1-1. Connor Abric made it 2-0 Ice Wolves in the second. In the third period, Clarke Huxley and captain Ben Tkachuk scored to tie the game at 2-2. Hometown product Zac Somers delivered the OT winner for Melfort. Favreau made 20 saves, while Smith had 29.