A prototypical game in ‘The Cage’.
The Humboldt Broncos and Nipawin Hawks kicked off the SJHL preseason schedule on Friday night, marking the return of Junior-A hockey in Saskatchewan.
In the opening game of preseason, fresh out of training camp, both coaches dressed lineups that have the potential to look completely different by the time the puck drops on the regular season on September 24.
Albeit a young, prospect laden roster for both sides, the 60 minutes of exhibition action featured stiff defense, solid pace, and a decent amount of physicality en route to a 1-0 Hawks victory.
The lone goal of the game was scored late in the first period, on the powerplay, by Hawks’ forward Brody Wilson.
Both teams, still evaluating the goaltender situation, elected to split the duties of Friday night’s game. Kenny Gerow and Liam Stevens stopped 12/13 and 8/8, respectively, for the Broncos. Meanwhile, both Hawks’ goaltenders were able to turn aside all 34 shots faced throughout the night. Returning goalie Chase Hamm stopping 17 of the Broncos’ 34 shots and newcomer Loic Mainguy-Crepault negating the other 14.
The Broncos had chances on the powerplay but were unable to convert going 0 for 6. The Hawks only needed one to win, going 1/3 on the man-advantage
The two teams will lineup once more the following day, this time in Humboldt, to wrap up the home and home set on Saturday.