PARKER TOBIN ROBS REED GUNVILLE FOR ONE OF THE 18 YEAR-OLD’S 36 SAVES IN HIS SECOND SHUT-OUT OF THE SEASON MONDAY. PHOTO COURTESY MARLA POSSBERG.
The Broncos set the table for what could be a classic first round playoff series Monday with Melfort; Humboldt hammered the Mustangs 6-0 at the Elgar Petersen Arena in a holiday afternoon match-up.
The win leaves the Broncos eight points behind the Mustangs for fourth place overall but the green and gold secure a nine point cushion over Weyburn for fifth setting up the likely East-central Saskatchewan show down. Nick Shumlanski led the way with a pair of goals in the first period including a short-handed marker. The trade deadline pick-up from Flin Flon said this was likely his best performance in Humboldt.
“It seems the more games we play the better it gets. The first couple games were pretty tough getting comfortable with my line mates and the style the team plays but it’s getting better and better,” Shumlanksi said.
Logan Schatz assisted on both of Shumlanksi’s first period goals that opened a 2-0 Humboldt lead after 20 minutes. Schatz scored the lone goal of the second period with his 22nd of the season from Jaxon Joseph. The late tally seemed to spark the home side going into the third, Brayden Camrud notched his 14th from Kaleb Dahlgren and Matthieu Gomercic on a power-play extending the lead to 4-0. Bryce Fiske, who added an assist in the first frame scored his sixth goal from Xavier Labelle at the 9:27 mark of the third period extending the lead to five. Jacob Leicht redirected a late power-play goal as well capping the rout. Labelle and Dahlgren earned their second points of the period on Leight’s sixth of the year.
Shumlanski said with back to back wins over Melfort to close the season series their confidence increases ahead of the playoffs.
“It sends a good message; hopefully they are feeling a little worried coming into the postseason. They are a really good team but we played well today. If we play like that it will be a great series,” Shumlanski said.
Lost in the offensive outburst was goaltender Parker Tobin’s 36 save performance. Tobin, 18 has two shut-outs on the season. Overall the Stony Plain, Alta. product is 12-5-0-1 in 19 starts. Melfort’s Evan Plotnik allowed four goals on 15 shots before being relieved by Hunter Arps who allowed a pair on a dozen shots.
The Broncos are down to five games remaining on the regular season schedule with two games in La Ronge, a pair versus the Battlefords North Stars and the closer in Notre Dame. Shumlanski said the team wants to continue to build to the playoffs.
“La Ronge is struggling this year but we can’t take them lightly. We have the Battlefords after that back to back too so we want to send a message there too, he said.
Both games in La Ronge begin at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 23 and 24. The Ice Wolves will honour long time Wolve Bryce Fiske on the weekend as he returns for his final Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League games at his hometown rink, the Mel Hegland Uniplex.