Written by: Rory McGouran
The Humbodlt Broncos had their 2-0 series lead cut in half following a 4-3 loss to the Nipawin Hawks on Tuesday night in Game 3.
The desperate Hawks started the game exactly how they had to.
With their backs against the wall, knowing a 3-0 series deficit would be closing in on insurmountable, the Hawks were flying from the opening puck drop, building a quick 2-0 lead while outshooting the Broncos 12-0.
Braxton Buckberger and Finley Radloff were the goal scorers for the Hawks in the opening frame.
Once they found their footing, the Broncos became the more engaging team as the game developed, outshooting the Hawks 43-29 the rest of the way.
Special teams proved to be one of the Broncos’ best weapons, same as they were in the first two games in Humbodlt.
Cage Newans (3) scored in the first period, and Jacob Boucher (1) found the back on the net in the second period, both on the power play, to tie the game at 2-2.
Braxton Buckberger netted his second of the game to regain the Hawks lead heading into the third period.
In the final frame, Carson Dobson bounced in a loose puck inside the Broncos’ crease to regain the two-goal lead.
The Broncos pressed hard in the dying minutes of the game and scored with 43 seconds left from Ethan Zielke’s first of the post season to make it 4-3.
With an offensive zone draw and 16 seconds left, trailing by one, the Broncos were unable to cleanly secure the puck as the Hawks killed off the final seconds leading to a 4-3 victory on home ice.
The series will resume the following night for Game 4 in Nipawin.
The loss guarantees there will be Game 5 back in Humboldt on Friday, March 24th.
Tickets for Game 5 are on sale now in the Broncos office.