Written By: Rory McGouran
It took seven games, but the Broncos now have their first taste of defeat this season.
The Nipawin Hawks handed the Broncos a 3-2 overtime loss on Saturday night at the Elgar Petersen Arena. After the Broncos outscored their opponents 37-9 in the first six games of the year, The Hawks were able to hold the Broncos to their lowest goal output of the season and their special teams proved to be the difference maker.
Just like they have in every game prior, the Broncos scored the game’s opening goal on a highlight of the night effort from Connor Thue who netted his third of the season and his 8th point in three games this week. They took a 1-0 lead into the second period, where things started to shift in favour of the visitors.
In the second frame, the Broncos didn’t seem to have the same gusto, only able to muster up 9 shots thought the 20 minutes. The special teams of Nipawin also made Humboldt pay. After allowing a shorthanded goal to Hudson Cameron that tied the game at one apiece, the Broncos ran into penalty trouble. Humboldt took four unanswered penalties which resulted in Braxton Buckberger giving the Hawks a 2-1 lead.
This was the first time this season that the Broncos have trailed in a game.
The third period was easily the best for the green and gold, returning to their accustomed high-octane style of play and putting pressure down in the Hawks zone.
Eight minutes into the period, Matthew Van Blaricom tied the game on the powerplay as the Broncos regained momentum and outshot the Hawks 14-6.
Neither team was able to find victory in regulation so for the first time, the Broncos were heading to overtime.
Matthew Van Blaricom was awarded a penalty shot in overtime after being hauled down on a breakaway. Unfortunately, on his attempt, the puck looked to get stuck on the buildup of net-front snow, preventing him from making a play.
Just a few seconds later, the Broncos took a penalty sending the Hawks on another man-advantage, and Ronan Buckberger scored his 4th goal of the season to hand the Broncos their first loss of the year.
Both netmiders were once gain fantastic, Ben Motew stopped 30 of 33 while his masked counterpart, Damon Cunningham turned aside 38 of 40.
The Broncos will have two straight road games next week, heading to Yorkton on Tuesday, the Battlefords on Friday, before returning home against the defending champ North Stars on Saturday.