Written by: Rory McGouran
It was a two-horse race on Friday night, and an entertaining photo finish to say the least.
The Humboldt Broncos and the Melfort Mustangs took to the ice in Melfort’s Northern Lights Palace on Friday night, where the Broncos put forth a great performance in a tough building. However, the green and gold fell into some penalty troubles including a penalty shot in overtime that gave Melfort the 4-3 exhibition victory.
The Broncos opened up the scoring for the second straight game off a beautiful pass from Ty McKay to Spencer Hughes for his first goal of the preseason. Melfort countered with a powerplay goal from a Chase Friedt-Mohr one-timer to tie the game heading into the second period.
The second period provided some exciting action, but it was the goalies who stood strong carrying the 1-1 tie into the third period.
In the third, Melfort’s Hayden Prosofsky took an undisciplined 7-minute penalty, two minutes for instigating and five minutes for a one-manned fight, that gave all the momentum and the opportunity to the Broncos to put the game out of reach.
Humboldt succeeded at first in doing just that.
The Broncos scored twice in the first three minutes of the extended man-advantage. Spencer Bell tipped home the go-ahead 2-1 goal and just 30 seconds later, Landon Stromme capped off a beautiful passing play for a 3-1 lead.
With still four minutes of powerplay to be capitalized on, that’s where the penalty troubles really began to arise.
The Broncos took back-to-back minors, basically nullifying their advantage and limiting their chances to extend the lead.
Following the conclusion of the penalty fiasco, Melfort found the back of the net off a bouncing puck that ricochet off of bodies and sticks and finally behind Aidan Fischer to cut the lead to 3-2.
Then, late in the third, another Broncos’ penalty led to David Rioux tipping home Friedt-Mohr’s one-timer and tying the game with just 28 seconds left.
In overtime, Logan Belton was hauled down on a breakaway and awarded a penalty shot in which he buried to give the Mustangs their first preseason victory of the year.
Aiden Fischer was excellent for the Broncos stopping 34 of 38 in action.
The Mustangs split duties with Tysen Smith turning aside 16 of 17, and Josh Henson stopping 13 of 15.
As noted, penalties were the deciding factor. The Broncos were shorthanded 9 times, not including the penalty shot, and allowing the Mustangs to score twice. Meanwhile, their powerplay clicked going 2/3.
There is just one more preseason game remaining for the Broncos with the rematch taking place the following night in Humboldt.