Written by: Rory McGouran
The Humboldt Broncos were able to remain undefeated in regulation, although a controversial no-goal call in overtime left fans frustrated and prevented the Broncos from securing victory in a 3-2 loss to the Estevan Bruins on Wednesday night.
The Bruins and the Broncos put forth a very entertaining display of high-end hockey at the Elgar Petersen Arena in their first meeting of the season. The Bruins, who were slightly slumping to start the year with a 3-5-0-2 record, gave the Broncos one of their stiffest tests of the young season, which is what you’d expect from a team many considered to be among the top of the standings in the SJHL prior to the season.
The Humboldt Broncos opened the scoring for the 10th time in 11 games this year, propelling them to a 1-0 lead with Matthew Van Blaricom’s team-leading 9th goal of the season.
Through the opening 20 minutes, it was evident that Estevan, as veteran laden team as you’ll find in the SJHL with 17 of 20 players either 19 years or older, were not going to make this an easy path to victory for the green and gold.
Although Humboldt took a 1-0 lead into the second, the Bruins managed to amount 12 shots on Broncos’ netminder, Ben Motew, the highest amount in any first period by a Bronco opponent this season. Many of which were high-danger chances that Motew has to stop to keep the lead intact.
The Bruins countered early in the second period as Turner McMillan, a veteran of 165 WHL games found his 3rd goal of the season in his 4th game to tie the game at 1-1.
Six minutes later, the Broncos regained their lead and connected on a zone entry when Jeter Korte was left unassigned as the third man in and fired his 2nd of the year over the glove of Bruins goalie, Jackson Miller.
Once again, Estevan came out of the intermission determined and evened the game just 17 seconds into the third frame. An unlucky Broncos’ bounce as a board-side puck ricochet of the lineman’s skate, bounced right to Owen Barrow who then unleashed a snapshot passed Motew for his 4th of the season.
With the rest of the third providing no victor, the Broncos were heading to overtime for the third straight game.
The controversial call that the Broncos, and all 878 in attendance, thought should have been a good goal took place one minute into overtime.
Spencer Bell and Van Blaricom entered the attacking zone on a brief 2-on-0. Bell attempted to pass the puck across the goal mouth but Bruins’ defenceman Felix Allard dove to break up the pass. Allard and the puck both clearly went into the net along with netminder, Jackson Miller. However, the goal light never went on and the referee signalled no-goal.
The EPA does have video replay capabilities for the fans and viewers entertainment; however, the officiating crew are refrained from using it in the SJHL to make decisions. Upon the replay, it clearly showed both bodies and the puck cross the goal line. Unfortunately for the Broncos, non of the referees or linesmen saw it live and the no-goal call was upheld.
On the ensuing shift, a breakout pass was perfectly accepted by McMillan, while stretching his leg on the blueline to stay onside, and he burred his second of the game on a breakaway to end the game and give Estevan a 3-2 win.
The Humboldt Broncos will have to use that fire left in their belly from the unwelcoming loss and turn it into energy when they travel to Kindersley for a divisional matchup with the Klippers on Friday, October 27th