The Access Communication Centre in North Battleford has by far been the least welcoming building for the Humboldt Broncos over the past few seasons. Finally, after 1008 days, the Broncos yanked that notorious thorn out of their side and came away with two points on the road over the Battlefords North Stars.
The last time the Broncos secured a win in the Battlefords was January 4th, 2019, and if not for a spirited third-period comeback last night, the days would still be counting.
The opening period provided no scoring. However, it did showcase how tightly these two teams line up against each other every game. Offense, defense, special teams, and goaltending all bring their certain positives to both sides, leading one to believe that the remaining four games can swing in either direction throughout the rest of the season.
The second period is the one that the Broncos would want back. A few defensive mistakes led to two goas for the North Stars who were starting to slant the ice in their favour. Colby Bear got the opening goal and Easton Johns scored just five minutes later for the 2-0 Battlefords’ lead. Both goals were SJHL career firsts for the pair.
Entering the third period, on the road and down by two against the North Stars is not a recipe many Broncos fans would have confidence in cooking up a win. However, they came out with purpose, and they came out quickly.
Braiden Koran beat Stars’ goalie Ulrik Roussel on a wraparound just 51 seconds into the period and the comeback had a spark. A 5-on-3 powerplay for the Broncos midway through the third provided the extra boost needed, and they capitalized. Alec Saretzky fired home his league leading 9th goal of the year and his 5th on the man advantage. Saretzky and Koran are now the only two Broncos to have points in all seven games so far this year
Tied at two with time winding down, Cage Newans, who had just been cut from the WHL, flew from BC to Humboldt, and was inserted into the lineup, all taking place in less than a 48-hour span, proved to be the hero. The 2003 born newcomer jumped on a point shot rebound and beat Roussel with just 3:44 remining in the game.
Rayce Ramsay stood strong the rest of they way and stopped 35 of 37 shots faced throughout the game, picking up his league leading 5th victory of the season.
The Broncos moved to within one point of the North Stars at the top of the division. They will look to leapfrog them on Saturday when Humboldt hosts Battlefords to wrap up the home and home weekend set.