Written by: Rory McGouran
The rivalry is one game away from being done for the considerable future.
Over the past 24 games, dating back to the 2023 playoffs, the Nipawin Hawks have been the opponent of the Humboldt Broncos a whopping 33% of the time. Throughout this span, the Broncos have defeated the Hawks seven times, including a 6-3 victory on the road on Friday night.
Ben Costantino led the way with a four-point night and the Broncos used a three-goal third period to separate themselves from their out-of-division frequent foe.
Matthew Van Blaricom picked up his team leading 12th of the season to open the scoring and give the Broncos a 1-0 lead heading into the second period.
The Broncos have now lead after the first period in 11 of 14 games.
The low scoring affair lasted another 15 minutes until the levy broke loose and goals started flowing in.
Costantino jumped into the offensive zone and scored his fourth of the year off a nice cross ice pass from Landon Stromme. However, every time either team scored, the opposition was quick to answer.
Second year Hawks forward. Finley Radloff brought the Hawks back within one, adding his fourth of the season just 53 second later.
The Broncos then countered themselves. 1:35 following the Radloff goal, Connor Thue snapped a five-game pointless drought and buried his 5th goal, re-establishing the Broncos two-goal lead heading into the third.
Thue, who was just named the SJHL Rookie of the Month for September/October, has 18 points in his first 8 games, and although going 17 days off the scoreboard, still leads all rookies with 19 points following his goal.
The third period provided more offensive entertainment.
1:25 into the final frame, Chase Visser fought through on a breakaway and cut the lead to 3-2 with his fourth of the year. However, just 10 seconds later, Marik Mamic, who had a few opportunities earlier in the game, once again regained the Broncos two-goal lead.
The Broncos were finally able to break the game open with two more consecutive goals. Spencer Hughes deflected a Costantino shot to give the Broncos a 5-2 lead, and Costantino put his final touches on the game with his second goal and fourth point for a 6-2 lead.
Nipawin’s Alex Bernauer scored late, but the damage was already done, and the Broncos secured their 11th win of the season.
Rookie netminder, Aidan Fischer started his third career game and picked up his third straight win in his inaugural SJHL season, stopping 31 of 34 shots faced. He now has a 3-0-0 record to go along with a 2.00 GAA and .926 SV% in his first three career starts.
With the win, the Broncos remain undefeated on the road with a 6-0-0 record, and undefeated in regulation overall, going 11-0-2-1 through their first 14 games.
For the final time of the regular season, The Broncos and Hawks will square off on Saturday back home in Humboldt for the rematch. This will mark the 9th time in the last 25 games between the two rivals.