By Craig Stein
Defending Champion Hawks Hit Win Column First
While the final score was secondary to many, the defending Canalta Cup Champion Nipawin Hawks picked up the first win of the 2018-2019 SJHL season, edging the Humboldt Broncos 2-1 on the road on Wednesday night, to kick off the regular season in front of a capacity crowd of just under 2000.
It marked the first Broncos game since the tragic bus accident that claimed 16 lives during the playoffs this past April.
Brayden Camrud and Derek Patter were both on the bus, and both were back in action in an emotional season opener. Camrud registered one assist.
Newcomer Michael Clarke scored the first goal in the SJHL this season for the Broncos, on a second period powerplay. Clarke had 16-goals and 45-points (in just 47 games) for the AJHL’s Calgary Canucks last season. The year before as an 18-year-old he racked up 31-goals and 62-points for the Grande Prairie Storm (AJHL).
Dane Dow spent last season with the AJHL’s Drumeller Dragons and made 24/26 saves in goal for the Broncos on Wednesday night.
Declan Hobbs, back for his 20-year-old season after a stellar 2017-2018 campaign, turned away 39 of the 40 shots he faced in goal for the Hawks on opening night. Cole Beamin and Jeremy Bisson scored in Nipawin’s victory.
The two teams go at it again Friday night in Nipawin, while eight more teams hit the ice for season openers the same night.
Kindersley @ Battlefords
Flin Flon @ La Ronge
Estevan @ Melville
Yorkton @ Weyburn