CONNER LUKAN SCORED TWICE, INCLUDING THE GAME WINNER IN LA RONGE SATURDAY. PHOTO COURTESY MARLA POSSBERG.
The Broncos were looking to come home from Northern Saskatchewan with four points Saturday night and after an early scare the green-and-gold did just that.
The La Ronge Ice Wolves jumped out to a 3-0 first period lead in the second game of their two straight at the Mel Hegland Uniplex. Justin Bill, Zach Bannister, and Nolan Doell all beat Parker Tobin in the opening period.
Humboldt cut into the lead in the second period; Conner Lukan scored his 17th goal of the year on a power-play cutting the lead to 3-1.
The Broncos completed the comeback in the third frame; at 8:57 Nick Shumlanski scored his 21st and third of the weekend. Tyler Smith and Lukan completed the resurgence just 23 seconds apart with less than eight minutes to play. Lukan said head coach Darcy Haugan wasn’t happy with the team’s start.
“Coach obviously wasn’t happy with our first period; in the intermission he put a little fire in us. We had a decent second period, we buckled down in the third and turned the game around,” Lukan said.
The Broncos are winners of three straight games and are 8-2 in their last ten. Lukan’s 18th goal of the season gave Humboldt the 4-3 victory, their 33rd of the season. Lukan said the Ice Wolves gave the club a tough test this weekend.
“You can never take teams lightly in this league, no matter where they sit in the standings it takes 20 guys putting in 100 per cent every shift to win games at this point in the season,” he said.
Logan Schatz picked up another three assists, the Broncos’ captain had six over the two games, and nine points in the Broncos’ three wins this week. Bryce Fiske added an assist in his last game Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League game in his hometown.
Tobin stopped 16 of 19 shots in the win; Jordan Frey stopped a remarkable 48 shots in the loss.
Humboldt will finish the season in fifth place overall and will most likely meet Melfort in the first round although the Nipawin Hawks haven’t clinched the Sher-wood Division title. Lukan said the club will continue to build towards the first round no matter who they meet.
“I think we just have to focus on doing the right things and keep playing the right way. We need to take care of our bodies the right way. Play-offs are a completely different game that can take a toll on you,” he said.
The Broncos return to action March 2 in North Battleford. The North Stars return to the Elgar Petersen Arena on March 3. Humboldt concludes the regular season March 6 in Wilcox versus Notre Dame.