The Humboldt Broncos went into the Northern Lights Palace in Melfort on Friday night, a notoriously tough building to secure victories, and came away with a 7-4 win over the rival Mustangs.
The Broncos entered the contest 1-0-0, while the Mustangs were 1-1-0 on the young season.
Two quick goals in the opening six minutes spurred the momentum the way of the Broncos. Alec Saretzky scored his first of the season, and just three minutes later, Sam Marburg notched his second.
The Mustangs didn’t back off and would tie the game with goals from Leyton Holoien and Dawson Leroux. This presented a moment in the first period that could have ruffled the composure of Humboldt, however, they stuck to their pace of play, and regained their two-goal lead thanks to Ben Kotylak (3) and Jace Benvie (2) before the opening frame expired.
Midway through the second period, the Mustangs cut the lead to 4-3 courtesy of Leith Olafson. Then Broncos’ defenseman Daylan Weigel once again restored the cushion with a shorthanded goal in the final two minutes, the first of the Broncos’ three consecutive shorties.
Wyatt day provided the Mustangs another opportunity to close the gap and get back within one just 1:26 into the third period. This was the third goal of the game scored by a Mustangs’ defenseman. Although the Broncos continued to take penalties, the Mustangs wouldn’t get any closer thanks to an aggressive penalty kill.
McLaren Paulsen got behind the defense and was hauled down on a breakaway, resulting in a penalty shot. A new rule in the SJHL allows coaches to choose any shooter they want to take the shot, instead of the player who drew the infraction. Head Coach, Scott Barney elected to call on Cage Newans who made no mistake on his opportunity to give the Broncos a 6-4 lead.
Newly anointed Captain, Ethan Zielke then added the cherry on top with his first goal of the season, once again shorthanded, and the Broncos pulled away with a hard fought 7-4 road victory,
These two teams will wrap up the back half of the home and home set when the Broncos host the Mustangs on Saturday.