The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s top two teams clash this weekend.
As of Oct. 23, the Battlefords North Stars topped the league standings with a 13-0-0-1 record, 27 points, and a .964 winning percentage. The Humboldt Broncos, on Sunday, were second in the SJHL standings with an 11-2-0-0 record, 22 points, and a .846 winning percentage.
On Friday, the North Stars conclude an eight-game homestand by hosting the Broncos. The next night the two teams tangle at the Elgar Petersen Arena.
Two Bombers commit to D1 schools
Forward Jaeden Mercier has committed to the Lindenwood University Lions. The St. Charles, Mo. school is in its first season at the NCAA Division I level. Fellow Bombers forward Jacob Vockler has committed to Merimack College. The North Andover, Mass. Institution’s hockey team also plays at the NCAA Div. I level.
Broncos accept #ItTakesATeam challenge
The Humboldt Broncos were the first SJHL team to take on the #ItTakesATeam challenge. Each player will try to recruit or perform donating blood, joining @CanadasLifeline stem cell registry, and registering to become an organ and tissue donor.
World Junior A Challenge returns
The event is back for the first time since 2019. Cornwall, Ont. will host two squads representing Canada as well as teams playing for Latvia, Sweden, and the United States. The Challenge will be held Dec. 11-18.
Around the SJHL
Melfort Mustangs (6-6-4-0)
The Mustangs hosted the Estevan Bruins for two games over the weekend. Joel Favreau and the Mustangs shut out the Bruins, 3-0, on Friday night. Favreau made 19 saves for his second shutout of the season. Ryan Duguay, Riley Ashe and Tye Evans lit the lamp for Melfort. Estevan’s Cam Hrdlicka made 33 saves.
Melfort made it a weekend sweep with a 3-2 victory on Saturday. After Estevan led 1-0 after the first period, hometown product Zac Somers scored twice for the Mustangs to put them on top 2-1 in the second. In the third, Duguay increased Melfort’s lead to 3-1. Estevan got one back, but Melfort hung on. Somers and Duguay each had three points. James Venne made 21 saves in the win.
Last week the Mustangs traded away defenceman Lucas Bourdon to the Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s Niverville Nighthawks and forward Logan Cox to the Kindersley Klippers. Cox was in his third season with the team. Player development fees went the other way in both deals.
The Mustangs host the Weyburn Red Wings on Wednesday. The Mustangs are in La Ronge on Saturday.
Kindersley Klippers (4-7-0-2)
The Klippers handed the Humboldt Broncos their second loss of the season on Oct. 21. The Klippers entered the third period trailing, 3-1, but used a four-goal final session to grab a 5-3 victory. Spencer Paplawski lit the lamp twice while Kayden Ostrom and Cash Arntsen also scored in the third period. Cox had the Klippers’ earlier goal. Klippers goalie Cody Jaman was busy. The Broncos threw 49 shots at him and he stopped 46 of them.
The Klippers made it two wins a row by downing visiting Yorkton, 5-2, at home on Saturday. The contest was knotted at 1-1 at the intermissions. Four goals in the final frame lifted the Klippers to victory. Matthew Mazzocchi, Tylin Hilbug, and Brock Evans made it 4-1 Kindersley before the Terriers got one back. Josh Morton concluded the scoring for the Klippers. Evans also had Kindersley’s first goal. Jaman made 40 saves.
On Oct. 18, the Klippers led the visiting Weyburn Red Wings 2-0 and 3-2 at the intermissions. Weyburn scored twice in the final frame to slip away with a 4-3 win. Matthew Mazzocchi scored twice for the Klippers. Liam Bell recorded two assists.
The Klippers added Cox for a player development fee. The 19-year-old forward from Prince Albert had two goals and four points in 14 games for the Mustangs this season. With Kindersley, he has three points through two games. Kindersley also added 18-year-old forward Joel Webb from Battlefords for a player development fee. The rookie from Lloydminster played two games this season for the North Stars.
Kindersley wraps up a six-game homestand on Wednesday when the Klippers host the Estevan Bruins on Wednesday.
Melville Millionaires (5-7-1-1)
The Millionaires tangled with the Weyburn Red Wings last weekend. In game one, Melville prevailed 6-1. Weyburn led 1-0 after the firs period, but the Millionaires gave their home fans a lot to cheer about with five second period goals. Six different players scored on the night for Melville: Colby Ball, Louis-Frederic Theberge, Nathan Fox, Zach Cain, Rylan Bruns, and Cooper Chisholm. Clement Labillois made 34 saves to earn his first win with the Millionaires.
In the team’s second game of the weekend, Weyburn won 7-5. Melville scored five times in the second period, including three on the powerplay, to overcome a 3-0 first period deficit and take a 5-4 lead into the second intermission. The Red Wings scored three in the third. Carter McKay led Melville with two goals. Brecin Den Hartog recorded three assists.
The Millionaires head north this week. They play in La Ronge on Tuesday and Wednesday and Flin Flon on Friday and Saturday.
Nipawin Hawks (5-8-1-1)
The Hawks were shut out, 4-0, at home on Oct. 20 by the Notre Dame Hounds. On Saturday, the Nipawin squad fell 5-4 to Humboldt. The Hawks led 2-1 and 3-2 at the intermissions. The Broncos outscored Nipawin, 3-1, in the third period. Nipawin netminder Nolan McDowell made 40 saves while the Hawks sent 25 at the Humboldt goalies.
The Hawks host the Weyburn Red Wings on Friday and Saturday.
La Ronge Ice Wolves (8-5-1-0)
The Ice Wolves are on a three-game winning streak after beating Notre Dame, 3-2, in overtime on Saturday. Ryley Morgan scored the winning goal. Lleyton Shearon gave the host Ice Wolves a 1-0 first period lead. The Hounds scored twice in the second to go up 2-1. Kale Taylor lit the lamp in the final two minutes of the game to tie the contest at 2-2. Dawson Smith made 32 saves to earn the win.
The Ice Wolves continue their homestand with three games at the Mel Hegland Uniplex. The Melville Millionaires visit Tuesday and Wednesday. The Melfort Mustangs visit Saturday.
Battlefords North Stars (13-0-0-1)
Exploding for five goals in the third period on Oct. 20, the North Stars turned a 4-3 lead into a 9-3 romp against the visiting Yorkton Terriers. Holden Doell scored the first two goals of the period. Kian Bell collected his second of the night while Zane Florence and Steven Kesslering also scored in the offensive onslaught.
Marshall Light staked Battlefords to a 1-0 first period lead. In the second frame, Jackson Allan and Colby Bear scored to increase the North Stars’ lead to 3-0. The Terriers then reeled off three straight goals to knot the contest at 3-3. Bell scored to give his squad a 4-3 lead at the second intermission.
Josh Kotai earned the win while stopping 31 shots. For Yorkton, Caleb Allen made 28 saves on 36 shots. Tommy Bouchard came on in relief to make five saves on six shots.
The North Stars beat visiting Yorkton, 5-2, on Oct. 21. Battlefords led 1-0 and 2-1 at the intermissions. The North Stars scored three times in the third period. Bear scored twice. Also scoring for the North Stars were Keiton Klein, Doell, and Bell. Kotai had 25 saves.
Battlefords swapped 18-year-old forward Joel Webb to Kindersley for a player develop fee. He had played two games for the team.
The North Stars host Estevan on Tuesday before taking on the Broncos on the weekend.
Humboldt Broncos (11-2-0-0)
The Broncos lost for the second time this season when they fell 5-3 to Kindersley on Oct. 21. On the road, Humboldt had led 1-0 and 3-1 at the intermissions. The Klippers scored four times in the third period.
The Humboldt squad rebounded to beat Nipawin 5-4 at home Saturday. The Broncos trailed 2-1 and 3-2 at the intermissions. After Nipawin extended its lead to 4-2 early in the third period, Humboldt scored three straight goals to win 5-4. Xavier Roy scored on the powerplay before Ben Kotylak and Sam Marburg lit the lamp. Jacob Boucher and Cage Newans had Humboldt’s first two goals. The Broncos had 45 shots on goal. Tristan Bolieau made six saves on nine shots. He was relieved in the second period. Benjamin Motew stopped 15 of the 16 shots he faced to backstop his team to the victory.
The Broncos are in Yorkton on Wednesday before playing Battlefords on the weekend.
Notre Dame Hounds (5-7-1-1)
Tucker Inabinet stopped all 22 shots he faced on Oct. 20 as the Hounds shut out the host Nipawin Hawks, 4-0. Rocsyn Bird, Antoine Saint-Onge, Carson Baylis, and Dane Probe scored for Notre Dame. The Hounds sent 29 shots at Reid Lalonde and he stopped 25 of them.
The Hounds’ three-game winning streak came to an end in a 2-0 shutout loss on the road Oct. 21 in Flin Flon. Inabinet made 37 saves.
Notre Dame earned a point in the standings in a 3-2 overtime road loss to La Ronge on Oct. 22. The Ice Wolves led 1-0 after the first period. In the second, Carson Baylis and Jaryd Sych scored to put the Hounds up 2-1. La Ronge tied the game last in the second and scored in OT. Ashton Billesberger stopped 40 of the 43 shots he faced.
The Hounds announced they have added Johann Tremblay-Kau. The Quebec product was with the Lone Star Brahmas of the North American Hockey League.
Notre Dame hosts the Yorkton Terriers on Thursday. The team heads to Estevan on Saturday.