Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League

BHP Recap: Broncos Drop Semi-Final Opener in Tight 3-2 Loss to Mustangs

Photo: Broad Leaf Media

The Humboldt Broncos fell 3-2 to the Melfort Mustangs in Game 1 of the Semi-Final Series. However, outside of the score, the positives highly outweigh the negatives after 60 minutes.

There wasn’t a whole lot the Melfort Mustangs showed to the Broncos that says Humboldt can’t win this series. Humboldt outpaced, out chanced, and for a large part of the game, outplayed the 2nd seed Mustangs.

On the other side, although limited to very few high-grade chances, Melfort was more dangerous when presented them, which was enough to pick up a 1-0 series lead.

The first period ended in a scoreless tie with the Broncos outshooting Melfort 13-5. Additionally, two of Melfort’s five shots came off dump-ins from centre ice.

Humboldt opened the scoring through a nifty passing play as Spencer Bell found the back of the net for the second straight game on the man-advantage. Travis Bryson found Daylan Weigel who threw a perfect back door pass to Bell for the 1-0 lead.

Melfort countered with their top line, the only line that produced all three goals.

A quick transitional play ended on the stick of Ryan Duguay who tucked home his first of two goals on the night over the shoulder of Ben Motew sending a 1-1 tie into the third period.

Duguay once again found a sliver of room early in the third and beat Motew over the glove to give Melfort their first lead of the game.

The Broncos tied the game with 8:30 left.

Boris Kofman and Matthew Van Blaricom took puck possession into the attacking zone and found Jacob Strizzi open in the slot who buried his second of the post season.

Humboldt was awarded a powerplay shortly after but were unable to convert, and right after it expired, Clay Sleeva flew down the right wing and threw a backhand in the bottom corner of the net for the eventual game-winner.

The Broncos still haven’t won a road game in the playoffs this year. They will look to change that narrative in Game 2 and split the series on Friday.