Written by: Rory McGouran
The new month started off on the right path for the Humboldt Broncos as they locked up two points against the Millionaires in a 5-2 victory on the road Friday night.
The victory was built through a hard fought 60-minute effort with strong defensive awareness and scoring from five different players. The victory also started off the month of February string, after a Jekyll and Hyde January where the Broncos won three of their first four games, before losing five of the subsequent six.
Goal scoring machine, Spencer Bell opened the scoring with his 30th of the season on the powerplay. Bell is the third SJHL’er to cross the 30-goal plateau, and the powerplay goal was the first for the Broncos in the last 15 attempts.
Connor Thue (6) then found the back of the net with a point shot for his first goal since returning back from a 12-game absence just last weekend.
Melville countered quickly in the first period, tying the game with two goals in just 28 seconds. The first was fired off a left-winged shot from Brad Banach. The second, the Broncos looked as if they were caught off guard and left Flynn Maxcy alone in front of the net for a tap-in 2-2 tie.
At that point in the game Ben Motew allowed the two goals on just six shots, however, the second year netminder was on his A-game the rest of the way, stopping the next 15 shots faced.
Matthew Van Blaricom snapped a 9-game goalless drought late in the opening frame for his 23rd of the year and a 3-2- lead.
Ryder Knutson regained the Broncos’ two-goal lead in the second period with his 2nd of the season off beautiful setup passes from Pat Lanthier and Landon Stromme.
Boris Kofman, who also just returned from a three-game absence scored his third of the year to cap off the scoring.
Humboldt’s defense held Melville to just 21 shots against, their third-lowest total this season.
Their offence was well rounded, as five different players finished with multiple points.
For the 13th straight game, the Broncos failed to generate more powerplays than their opponent, however the penalty kill was fantastic, kill off all five times shorthanded.
The victory elevates the Broncos record to 26-12-3-1, and now sit one point behind the Melfort Mustangs for 3rd place.
The Broncos and Millionaires will wrap up their season series with their 5th meeting on Saturday in Humboldt. Each team has won two games in the series.