The Melfort Mustangs are heating up.
The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League team is on a four-game winning streak. The squad has gone 7-3-0-0 in its last 10 contests. Last week Melfort beat the visiting Weyburn Red Wings, 4-1, last Wednesday before getting by Humboldt, 3-2, in overtime on Saturday. The Mustangs are now 11-8-4-0 on the season.
David Rioux scored the winning goal on Saturday night. After a scoreless first period, the visiting Mustangs took a 2-0 second period lead with goals by Tye Evans and Leith Olafson. The Broncos scored once in the second session and tied things up at 2-2 in the third. James Venne backstopped the Mustangs to victory with 27 saves.
Last Wednesday the Mustangs took a 2-0 first period lead against Weyburn. Neither team had a second period goal before Melfort outscored the visitors 2-1 in the third. Mustangs goalie Joel Favreau stopped all but one of the 26 shots he faced. Hometown product Zac Somers scored twice on the powerplay for Melfort. Wyatt Day and Rioux also had goals for the Mustangs.
The Melfort squad acquired 19-year-old defenceman Owen Palfreyman from the Grande Prairie Storm. The 6-foot-5, 200-pounder had two assists in 14 games this season for the Alberta Junior Hockey League club. The Mustangs sent a player development fee west in the deal.
The Mustangs and tangle with the Flin Flon Bombers this weekend. The first game is Friday in Melfort with the second contest Saturday in Flin Flon.
Battlefords North Stars (20-0-2-1)
A broken condenser at the Access Communications Centre in North Battleford forced the Battlefords North Stars to find other places to play last week. The squad was able to overcome this challenge to record two wins over Flin Flon.
As of Sunday, the North Stars led the SJHL with a 20-0-2-1 record. Their 43 standings points put them 10 ahead of Flin Flon and La Ronge, who both had 33.
The North Stars had the three top scorers in the SJHL, as of Sunday. Holden Doell and Jake Southgate both had 36 points. Kian Bell was one behind with 35.
Keep an eye on the North Stars’ social media for where the team is playing this week. The squad is to host the La Ronge Ice Wolves on Thursday and Friday.
With 600 packed into the rink in Wilkie, the North Stars led 1-0 after the first period and stretched its lead to 3-0 early in the second. They led 3-1 at the second intermission on the way to a 5-2 victory. Five players scored for Battlefords: Jackson Allan, Emmett Wurst, Keiton Klein, Bell, and Evan Waldie. For the North Stars, Josh Kotai made 58 saves on 60 shots.
The next night the foes battled in the Battleford Arena with 452 in attendance. Bell scored in overtime to lift the North Stars to a 4-3 win. Bell scored the game winner. Battlefords had trailed 1-0 in the first period and was down 2-0 just 1:01 into the second frame. The North Stars rallied back with goals by Colby Bear, Southgate, and Zane Florence. In the third period, Jacob Vockler tied the game at 3-3. Kotai was busy and made 51 saves.
Humboldt Broncos (15-6-1-0)
The Humboldt Broncos earned three out of a possible six points last week. They beat Notre Dame 6-2 last Wednesday, suffered a 3-2 overtime loss to Melfort Saturday, and fell Sunday afternoon to the Flin Flon Bombers, 4-1.
This past week the Broncos added 20-year-old goalie Hayden Dunford from the B.C. Hockey League’s Merritt Centennials for a player development fee. The move gives the Humbooldt team three goaltenders with Tristan Boileau and Benjamin Motew still on the roster.
“Hayden is a big goalie at 6-foot-5 and someone we have watched since the summer,” Humboldt head coach Scott Barney said. “He’s played in the BCHL this year and last and we believe with his big frame and mobility can be a goalie who makes the first shot save. He will get the opportunity to prove to himself and us that he’s a top goaltender.”
The Broncos are in the midst of a four-game homestand. They wrap it up by hosting the Notre Dame Hounds on Wednesday and Yorkton Terriers on Saturday.
The Broncos jumped out to 3-0 first period lead against the Hounds last Wednesday. They led 4-1 at the second intermission on the way to a 6-2 win. Six different players scored for Humboldt: Samuel Marburg, Jacob Boucher, Carsten Kayter, Timothy Kim, Ethan Zielke, and Ben Kotylak. Boileau made 36 saves on 38 shots.
Last Saturday, the Broncos battled back from a 2-0 deficit in the second period to force overtime. Alec Saretzky lit the lamp on a second period powerplay and Kotylak tied the game at 2-2 in the third period. The Mustangs scored in OT to prevail, 3-2. Benjamin Motew made 29 saves for Humboldt.
On Sunday, the Broncos fell behind 2-0 in the first period as the Bombers scored on a powerplay and got a shorthanded marker. Xavier Roy put the hosting Humboldt team on the scoreboard with a powerplay goal. Flin Flon led 2-1 at the first intermission and added a goal in second period and one, into an empty net, in the third. In his Broncos’ debut, Dunford made 25 saves on 28 shots.
La Ronge Ice Wolves (16-7-1-0)
The La Ronge Ice Wolves are on a six-game winning streak. Their success has them tied with Flin Flon for second in the SJHL standings – both have 33 points behind Battlefords’ 43.
The Ice Wolves beat the Weyburn Red Wings twice in La Ronge last week. On Friday, the hosts used a 3-0 first period lead to help it to a 6-1 victory. Thomas Wright led the Ice Wolves with two goals and three points. Also scoring for La Ronge were Kale Taylor, Jacob Visentini, Kaycee Coyle, and Parker Layton. Dawson Smith stopped all but one of the 39 shots he faced.
The next day, the Ice Wolves once again got out to a strong start – leading 4-1 at the first intermission – en route to a 7-1 victory. La Ronge goalie Topher Chirico had 27 saves. Lleyton Shearon netted a hat trick. Kyle Graham, Seth Dragan, Thomas Wright and Hunter Burgeson also lit the lamp for the Ice Wolves.
The Ice Wolves are to play in Humboldt on Wednesday and then Thursday and Friday on the road against Battlefords.
Kindersley Klippers (5-10-0-4)
On the weekend, the Kindersley Klippers split their games against the visiting Nipawin Hawks. With 1,250 looking on at the West Central Events Center, the Klippers doubled up Nipawin, 6-3, on Saturday. The Klippers led 3-1 after the first period. Adam Paplawski had two goals for Kindersley, while Aidan Bangs, Nathan DeGraves, Matthew Mazzocchi, and Brock Evans all had one. Cody Jaman recorded 30 saves.
The night before the Hawks came back from a 4-1 first period deficit to win 7-4. Logan Falk started and made 28 saves on 33 shots. Jaman had 16 saves on 18 shots in relief. The attendance was 640.
It is a busy week for the Klippers. They are in Yorkton on Tuesday and Melville on Wednesday. On the weekend, they are back in Yorkton on Friday night, play in Melville on Saturday, and then visit Wilcox Sunday to play the Notre Dame Hounds.
Nipawin Hawks (9-12-1-1)
The Nipawin Hawks went 1-2 last week. On Friday night, Nipawin rallied from a 4-0 first period deficit to beat Kindersley 7-4. Alex Johnson got the Hawks on the board late in the first. In the second frame, the Hawks exploded for four goals to go up 5-4. Scoring in the period were Joel Mabin, Alyandro De Leon (on a powerplay), Reese Malkewich, and Reid Mckay. In the third, Nipawin added two more goals with De Leon and Johnson getting their seconds of the night. Reid Lalonde started and made nine saves on 12 shots. Jackson Fellner came in and stopped 30 of the 31 shots he faced.
Last Tuesday, the Hawks lost 4-1 at home last week. After a scoreless first period, Flin Flon led 2-1 at the second intermission. Mckay had Nipawin’s lone goal. Fellner made 31 saves.
On Saturday, Kindersley won 6-3. The Klippers led 3-1 and 4-1 at the intermissions. Braxton Buckberegr, Johnson, and Francois-Xavier Bedard had Nipawin’s goals. Fellner made 12 saves on 17 shots. Lalonde stopped six on seven.
The Hawks’ lone game this week is Sunday in Melville.
Melville Millionaires (6-14-1-1)
With a 3-2 home loss to Estevan on Friday, the Melville Millionaires’ losing streak was extended to six games. Against the Bruins, Colby Ball put the Millionaires up 1-0 in the first period with 684 cheering them on. Matt Kjemhus scored to make it 2-0 for Melville. The Bruins scored three straight goals, including one on the powerplay, to close out the period. Neither team scored in the third.
In that contest, Ethan Anstey made his Millionaires’ debut. He was acquired last week from Flin Flon for a player development fee. The 20-year-old forward from Yellowknife had recorded an assist in 14 games this season for the Bombers.
The Millionaires are on a five-game homestand. They wrap it up this week by hosting Kindersley on Wednesday and Saturday as well as Nipawin on Sunday.
Notre Dame Hounds (9-11-1-1)
The Hounds split their games last week. On Friday, they earned a 5-1 road win over the Yorkton Terriers. After Yorkton opened the scoring at the 10:36 mark of the first period, the Hounds got on a roll. They led 2-1 after the first period and were up 4-1 at the second intermission. Carson Baylis and Cyprus Smith-Davis both scored twice for the Hounds. Antoine Saint-Onge had Notre Dame’s other goal. Tucket Inabinet stopped 29 of the 30 shots that came his way.
At home last Wednesday, the Hounds fell behind 3-0 in the first period to Humboldt. The Broncos went on to win 6-2.
The Hounds host the Weyburn Red Wings on Tuesday. The Klippers visit on Sunday.