Written by: Rory McGouran
Three goals in 67 seconds brought the building to its feet and secured an electric 4-3 comeback effort for the Humboldt Broncos over the Battlefords North Stars on Tuesday night.
In the third of five preseason games to gear up for the 2023/24 SJHL season, the Broncos provided overwhelming excitement for the fans, and potentially something even more important, the building blocks of comeback belief inside the dressing room.
The Broncos opened the scoring for the first time this preseason. Brayden Skogstad was the beneficiary of a goal-mouth scramble to bang home his first exhibition goal in a Broncos’ jersey.
Overall, it was an impressive first period for Humbodlt as they outshot the ‘defending champs’ 18-5 in the opening frame.
The North Stars came out strong in the second period, while the Broncs failed to have the same consistency.
Jackson Allan and Lleyton McLean scored in the opening 2:21 of the middle frame, giving Battlefords their first lead of the game, 2-1.
The third period had its hurdles in the opening 10 minutes. The chemistry and transitional play that was evident in the first period, wasn’t as productive, and when Bradley Blake scored on the power play to extend the lead to 3-1, it looked as if Battlefords would steal a preseason victory away from the Broncos.
Cue the Comeback.
The Broncos were granted their own powerplay, their sixth of the game, with 3:08 remaining in the third. Trailing by two goals, Head Coach, Scott Barney wasted no time calling a timeout and pulling his netminder for a 6 on 4 attack. It proved to be a savvy move as Patrick Lanthier jumped on a loose puck and beat Emmitt Dixon to bring the Broncos back within one.
Just 8 seconds later, the Broncos re-entered the attacking zone and Jeter Korte followed up a bouncing puck through traffic and fired a shot over the glove of Dixon to tie the game.
With momentum firmly on the Broncos’ side, it appeared the contest was heading to overtime. However, third year veteran, Cage Newans proved to be the hero, netting his first of the preseason and capping off a three-goal scoring run in just 67 seconds’ time.
Ben Motew got his second exhibition start and stopped 19 of 22 for his second win.
The powerplay went 1/6, while the PK stopped 4/5.
The Broncos have now won two of their three preseason games with just two more remaining, both against the Melfort Mustangs this coming weekend.