By Craig Stein
BRONCOS OPEN SEASON WITH HOME ICE WIN
In short, everyone who opened the season with wins on Friday night, made it back to back wins on Saturday, as five clubs improved to 2-0-0-0 on the young season.
The Melfort Mustangs started their quest for a three-peat, sweeping La Ronge over the weekend by a combined score of 12-2, capping it with a 5-2 home ice decision on Saturday.
Keelan Saworski scored twice in his first SJHL game. Kalem Zary added a goal and an assist, giving him three goals already on the season. Eric Sinclair also had a goal and an assist, and sits tied with Zary with five points through two games, and rookie defenseman Ethan Rheaume also notched his first goal in the league. Evan Plotnik made 29/31 saves in his second straight win.
For the Ice Wolves, Zachary Gladu and Josh Hayward each scored their first of the season.
Brenden Newton wasn’t terribly busy, but the Flin Flon Bomber goaltender was there when called upon, becoming the league’s third goaltender to post a shutout this season, making 15 saves in the Bombers’ 2-0 win over Nipawin. The Bombers held the Hawks to just two shots in the final twenty minutes.
Newton joins Melfort’s Evan Plotnik and Estevan’s Nathan Alalouf in the shutout department as the others turned the trick on Friday.
Defenseman Joseph Leonidas opened the scoring just 1:13 into Saturday’s contest and it stood up as the winner. Kristian St. Onge provided some insurance early in the third.
Kristian Stead made 27/29 saves making his first start of the season for the Hawks.
The Estevan Bruins have started what most outsiders would have assumed would be a rebuilding year, at 2-0-0-0, after a 4-2 win over visiting Melville.
Kaelen Holt scored twice and has three goals on the year. Matt McNeil (1g-1a) and Tyler Hengen had the other, and Nathan Alalouf made his second straight start making 23/25 saves.
Across the rink, rookie Colby Entz made his first start in goal for the Millionaires, and was more than solid, stopping 32/35 shots. Tyler Kreklewich and Taylor Kreutzer scored second period goals for Melville.
The Battlefords North Stars have two straight wins under new Head Coach/GM Nate Bedford, winning 5-2 in Kindersley on Saturday.
Keaton Holinaty (1g-1a), Reed Delainey, Logan Nachtegaele, McGregor Sinclair and Jeremy Velazquez scored, and Taryn Kotchorek made 22/24 saves.
Klippers’ captain Carson PIckett scored his second goal in as many nights while Brendan Wagoner also scored.
Wes Rudy also has a perfect record through his first weekend as Coach of the Weyburn Red Wings.
McKenzie Welke scored an early first period powerplay goal for the Yorkton Terriers, but the Wings did the rest of the damage in a 4-1 decision.
Carson Rose (1g-2a), Ian Parker and Cole Woodliffe all struck in the second period and Braden Mellon added another early in the third. Nathan Hargrave made 29/30 saves improving his personal mark to 2-0.
As they always do, the Humboldt Broncos and Notre Dame Hounds started their opening weekend home and home a day later than everyone else, and it was the Broncos prevailing on home ice, starting off their season with a 5-3 win over the Hounds.
Logan Schatz scored twice for the Broncos, with his linemate Trevor Posch and defenseman Connor Swystun each adding a pair of assists. Chris Van Os-Shaw, Nikolas Malenica and Luke Kempf all scored and Garrett Mason made 27/30 saves in his first start in the SJHL.
Tyler Podgorenko, Colby Brandt and Cole Kirkup replied for the Hounds, who host the back end of the home and home Sunday at 6:00.