October 28th and 29th have been circled on the calendar for quite some time in the SJHL.
The weekend set marked the first time the Humboldt Broncos and Battleford North Stars would test each other’s might in a series between the top two teams in the SJHL.
The North Stars, who hold the #1 ranking in the country, entered the weekend having not yet lost in regulation with a record of 14-0-0-1. The Broncos, not far behind, started their season strong with a 12-2-0-0 heading into the weekend.
The first of the two games took place in the Battlefords on Friday night.
The Humboldt Broncos took leads into both intermissions. Cage Newans led the Broncos to a 1-0 lead after one, and Tim Kim provided another go-ahead goal for a 2-1 lead heading into the third frame.
In the third period, undiscipline, and some unjustified penalties, were called against the Broncos, and the 1st place North Stars made them pay with 4 straight goals to take a 5-2 victory in game one. In total there was 173 penalty minutes in the game with 161 coming in the final 10 minutes.
Saturday’s affair took place in the Elgar Petersen Arena in Humboldt. Alec Saretzky and Cage Newans scored for the Broncos to propel the exact same game-script as game one, with the Broncos taking a 2-1 lead into the third period.
Once again, the North Stars tied the game at 2-2, however, this time the Broncos buckled down, both in discipline and defensive play to force overtime.
In overtime, 16-year-old defenseman Carsten Kayter made a beautiful hesitation play at the North Stars blueline to open just enough space for Lucas Ceccarelli to burry the game winning goal for the Broncos.
Both games were filled with over 1000 fans in each rink providing an electric atmosphere for the players and fans.
These two teams won’t meet again until January 20th and 21st in the second of three home-and-home sets this season.