SJHL Game 8: Humboldt Broncos at Battlefords North Stars

The Humboldt Broncos and Battlefords North Stars always provide great entertainment. The rivalry between the two teams was enhanced last year in the playoffs when Kam Ballas scored in overtime of game 6 at the Civic Center to knock the Stars out of the playoffs. The Broncos went on to win the SJHL title. They hosted the RBC Cup but lost in the semi-finals. I am not sure in Broncos fans consider the North Stars to be a rival or not. And I don’t really care. I know North Stars fans love to beat the Broncos and will be looking for some small measure of revenge whenever these two teams meet this season.

The Broncos come into tonight’s game playing incredibly well. They’ve won five in a row. Three of those wins have been shutouts including the last two games in a row. They’ve allowed just five goals in their last five games. Of course those wins came against Estevan, Kindersley and Melfort. No offense to those three teams intended but those aren’t top teams in the SJHL. So the Broncos are a good team who is beating the teams they are supposed to beat. I am looking forward to seeing this team tonight to get a better idea of how good they are this season.

Recent Game:

Humboldt Broncos:

  • The Broncos won last night in Kinderlsey 5-0. Luke Lee Knight picked up the shutout making 27 saves for his first SJHL win and first SJHL shutout. Cody Pogracz led the way offensively with 2 goals and an assist.

Battlefords North Stars:

  • The North Stars last game was Saturday night in La Ronge when they lost 6-3.

Players to Watch:

Humboldt Broncos:

  • Adam Antkowiak. He has 3 goals and 10 points so far in 9 games this season. And you can’t really miss him as he is listed at 6’7 and 235 pounds. He could be the league’s top power forward.
  • Cody Pogracz. I mentioned him already but the 19 year old Saskatoon native has returned from a season in the AJHL last season and is off to a good start for the Broncos.

Battlefords North Stars:

  • Ryne Keller. Not because he is on a two game goal scoring streak. but because of the way he challenged his team mates late in the game in La Ronge. After the game he told me he had to practice what he preached and back up his words with actions. Pretty mature stuff from a guy who is still 8 days short of his 18th birthday. I also want to see how his team mates respond.
  • Connor Creech. I have a feeling he will play tonight and start his 8th straight game for the North Stars. It hasn’t been the start to the season that I expected from Creech. But he is one of the very best goalies in this league. He proved that last season and I think he will be very good tonight.

Head to Head (Last Season)

  • The Stars and Broncos met in the playoffs last season. The Broncos won the first 3 games before the Stars rallied to win the next two. Game 6 went to OT and the Stars lost despite having several chances to win that game. It was a great series that added to the rivalry between the two teams.

Special Teams:

Humboldt Broncos:

  • PP: 6-34 (18%) PK: 34-38 (89.5%)

Battlefords North Stars:

  • PP: 12-40 (30.0%) PK: 22-32 (68.8%)
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