It was a statement win in character fashion for the Humboldt Broncos as they fought back from two two-goal deficits, defeating the Melfort Mustangs 4-3 in Overtime on Friday night.
The Broncos were missing 10 regulars from their lineup due to various reasons, including COVID-19. However, thanks to a pair of newly acquired players suiting up for their first game with the Broncos, and three additional AP call-ups, the Broncos had more than enough bodies to ensure the drop of the puck in Melfort.
James Form and Jared Kaplowitz were playing their first game with the Broncos this season after being acquired prior to the trade deadline. Meanwhile, Danton Cox was back into the lineup for his fourth game, Jaydon Jessiman for his second, and Humboldt native, McLaren Paulsen for his first career game, all as call-ups.
The Mustangs had already gone through their wave of COVID 19 postponements and hadn’t played since January 1st.
Although physical and fast paced, the opening frame turned out to be a feeling out process with both teams heading into the first intermission in a scoreless tie.
In the second, the Mustangs broke through. Ben Tkatchuk scored his 14th of the season, followed by defenseman, Cameron Emigh’s first career SJHL goal in just his first game to build a 2-0 Melfort lead heading into the third.
Alec Saretzky cut the lead in half just 1:32 into the final frame with his 24th goal this season, although the momentum was short lived. Carter Anderson regained the Mustangs two-goal advantage just 14 second later for a 3-1 lead.
Midway through the third, the Mustangs became extremely undisciplined and fell into serious penalty troubles which led to become the turning point of the contest. Zac Somers took a five-minute major for checking from behind. Just over one minute later, Carter Anderson was called for high-sticking. This would have been enough damage, but during that ensuing whistle, the Mustang’s bench lost their cool and got tagged with a two-minute unsportsmanlike penalty, putting the Broncos on a lengthy 5 on 3 powerplay.
Noah Barlage queued the comeback with his 5th of the season and Saretzky scored his second of the game to even the score at three apiece, both on the powerplay.
The Broncos haven’t lost a game in overtime or a shootout this season, picking up the extra point in all five games this year. The narrative didn’t change on Friday. Right off an offensive zone draw, Matthew Perkins found the puck, drove the net, and roofed the game winner for his 20th goal of the season and the Broncos 4-3 victory.
Rayce Ramsay stopped 23 of 26 shots for his 27th victory, also picking up an assist on the Noah Barlage goal.
The Broncos improved to 29-10-0-0 on the season.
The Broncos and Mustangs will wrap up their four game season series on Saturday with Humboldt looking for the four-game sweep.