The wait is over for the Humboldt Broncos as they open the 2017 playoffs on the road versus the Hawks Friday.
This is the fourth against fifth match-up with two very good clubs although the Hawks should be considered the favourite based on their 19 more points during the regular season.
Despite that stat, captain Logan Schatz hopes the adversity they faced early in the year can pay off when it counts.
“I think it shows the real character of our team, the way we battled every night with a thin line up in November and December. We snuck out some wins and got some big two points, it was a real up and down season but I think that’s going to make us stronger.”
Nipawin had nine more wins than the Broncos during the season but each team was 3-2-1 against the the other.
Experience could be a factor, Nipawin has reached the semi-finals the last two seasons losing to Melfort twice, the Broncos haven’t been in the post season since Dean Brockman was promoted to the Western Hockey League. They did make a survivor series appearance before a quick four game exit courtesy the Weyburn Red Wings a couple seasons ago.
Third year Bronco Michael Korol says they are primed for the post season.
“It’s been awhile, we’re all super excited, super pumped, we can’t wait to get it going.”
Saturday game two will be at the Elgar Petersen Arena, season ticket holders have until 6pm to claim their seats, it will be rush seating starting Saturday at 12pm.
Schatz hopes they can give the craved fans some March madness of their own.
“Being two years in this organization out of the playoffs really sums up the kind of struggles over the two years but it definitely makes us want to give our fans a couple extra series this year and hopefully we can make a nice run.”
The pregame show live from Nipawin will begin at 7:15, face off is 7:30.
Tale of the Tape:
Record 31-25-1-1 — 64 points(5th) 40-15-2-1 — 83 points(4th)
Past 10 GP 5-4-1 7-3
Home Record 18-9-1-1 22-7
Road Record 13-16 18-8-2-1
Goals For 178 200
Goals Against 178 118
Power Play 41/252(16.3%) 72/321(22.4%)
Penalty Kill 58/302(80.8%) 45/274((83.6%)
Top Scorer Van Os-Shaw (68) Bly (73)