Simple, effective hockey for the Humboldt Broncos.
5-on-5 dominating, a successful PK, and timely goals were the propellent to a 5-1 road victory over the Melfort Mustangs on Friday night.
Prior to the 5th rendition of the “two-horse-race” the Melfort Mustangs were sitting three points up on the Humboldt Broncos in the SJHL standings, with 4 points available in a weekend set between the league’s two horses. Each team had also won two of the prior four games in the season series.
With Melfort as dominating as they are at home, (17-4-0) and even better with the lead (24-2-0 when scoring the first goal), the first period was key to relish the upper hand.
Humboldt’s first period was as good as they come.
Humboldt’s Maddox Amaral scored the games opening goal for his 11th of the season which started a four-goal opening period performance.
Not only did the Broncos score plenty, but they also scored in timely moments, neutralizing and relinquishing any momentum the Mustangs tried to control.
Following their second successful penalty kill, Spencer Bell extended the lead with his 32nd of the year.
Melfort cut the lead in half with their lone goal of the game off the stick of Zac Somers. However, 53 seconds later, a Jacob Strizzi board-side shot deflected off the shinpad of Pat Lanthier (10) to restore the 2-goal lead.
To grasp even more momentum heading into the second, Connor Miller (9) jammed home a loose net-front puck with three seconds left in the period to put the Broncos up 4-1.
The Broncos took two simultaneous penalties to open the second period and gave Melfort a chance to climb back in the game with a full two-minute 5-on-3 powerplay. The PK stood tall holding Melfort to just threes shots on net.
Once again, a timely goal when Bell notched his 2nd of the game under two minutes following the successful kill.
The Broncos defensive group were hard-nosed and simple with the puck. Rarely forcing anything up the middle and using the boards to clear pucks and move it through transition.
The powerplay failed to score on their four attempts, while the PK was a huge factor, killing 6/7.
Ben Motew got his third straight start in net and turned aside 32 of 33 for his third straight win and improve his record to 19-7-2-1.
The victory lifts the Broncos just one point shy of the Mustangs, and they’ll have a chance to overtake 3rd place in the rematch on Saturday at the Elgar Petersen Arena in Humboldt.