I know what you are thinking. Weren’t the Broncos just here in the Battlefords? They were in fact just here the other day. Oct 28th the Broncos came into the Civic Center and skated away with a 6-4 loss at the hands of the Stars.
The Broncos are back in town and they are coming off a shootout victory last night in Kindersley. I listened to that game and as far as I could tell discipline was a key. The Broncos came from behind and had a late lead but they took a penalty that led to the tying goal. Eventually Humboldt won in a shootout to pick up their 3rd win in a row. They haven’t lost since that game here in the the Battlefords. The Broncos in fact are 4-1-1 in their last 6 games. I think we all knew they would get it going here at some point and it seems that they have started to figure things out.
But they haven’t figured out the Stars. At least not yet and not in terms of getting a win. The Stars won 5-4 on the road in Humboldt earlier in the year and of course have that 6-4 home win to their credit as well. The Stars have played 2 fewer games than the Broncos (19 to 21) and yet have 5 more points. So this game already has important implications in the standings. The Stars could conceivably win this game, and their two games in hand, and be 11 points ahead of Humboldt in the standings. The Broncos will not want to let that happen. The Broncos also feel like they let those two games against the Stars slip out of their grasp. In fact last night after the game Broncos assistant coach Tim Klimosko said the Broncos need to “teach Battlefords a lesson”. Which sounds worse than it is because I don’t think he meant it in a disrespectful way at all. I think it was basically the coach saying that the Broncos want to show the Stars, and the league, just how good they can be against the league’s top team.
The Broncos have been good at scoring goals against the Stars this season. They have 8 in just two games. That represents 16% of the goals the Stars have allowed on the season in just a little over 10% of their games. What the Broncos haven’t been able to do is slow down Brett Miller. Miller has 4 goals in the two games between these teams so far. Interestingly Blake Tatchell didn’t pick up a point in the first meeting between these two teams. It was mostly the second line of Miller, Hall and Schwab who did the damage in that game back on October 7th. Tatchell did most of the damage, along with Miller, in the most recent meeting here in the Battlefords and for more on that check out the game recap I posted after that game.
So while the Stars will feel, despite a 2-0 record against Humboldt, they haven’t played their best game against the Broncos and certainly haven’t shown the Broncos they kind of D that the Star can play. The Broncos will feel pretty much the same. They haven’t shown their best game against the Stars either. So tonight at the Civic Center we could see a spectacular game. If it lives up to the hype, most of which I am creating myself, it could be one of the better games we see all season. If both teams play up to the best of their ability? Well I hope they do because I want to see what that looks like.
And of course after the game there will be a hot stove and players signing autographs up stairs. There’s snow on the ground outside. If that doesn’t make you want to watch a great hockey game tonight at the Civic Center what ever could?