By Craig Stein
CAMRUD PLAYS OT HERO IN BRONCOS’ OPENER, FOUR TEAMS IMPROVE TO 2-0
Everyone in the SJHL opened up their 2017-2018 regular seasons on Friday, expect for the Humboldt Broncos and Notre Dame Hounds, who waited an extra day to kick off their traditional Saturday/Sunday home-and-home.
The Broncos hosted Saturday’s opener, and the hometown faithful left the Elgar Peterson Arena happy, with a 3-2 overtime decision. Brayden Camrud’s first goal of the year came on a breakaway midway through the extra frame. Captain Logan Schatz sent him in all alone, and Schatz finished with two assists. Kaleb Dahlgren opened the scoring for Humboldt against his former team while rookie Graysen Cameron also scored and Sam-Jaxon Visscher made 21/23 saves.
Chaz Smedsrud and and Olivier Lantagne scored for the Hounds. Veteran Chance Longjohn had assists on both goals, and netminder Jacob Standen made 24/27 saves.
The other four games Saturday all saw teams finish off sweeps of their opening weekend home and home series’.
If the first two games are any indication, the Battlefords North Stars appear to be a force again. The defending champs were stingy defensively last year, and they, and goaltender Taryn Kotchorek, didn’t allow a single goal over the weekend in back to back wins over Kindersley, capped with a 4-0 decision on Saturday.
Kotchorek made 33 saves on Saturday, and stopped all 62 he saw over the weekend, giving him now 11 career regular season shutouts. The game was scoreless after forty minutes, before the Stars racked up four in the third, as Layne Young (1g-1a), Keith Anderson (1g-2a), Dakota Huebner and Connor Manegre all found the net.
Justen Close made 38/42 saves in goal for the Klippers.
Chrystopher Collin, an 18-year-old rookie from Quebec, potted a hat trick in his second SJHL game with the Flin Flon Bombers, and already has four goals on the season, as he helped the Bombers to a 4-2 win in La Ronge Saturday.
Dylan Burton also scored for Flin Flon and Brenden Newton picked up his second straight win in goal to open the season.
Bryce Fiske and Jason Bednarski did the scoring for the Ice Wolves.
The Melfort Mustangs completed a weekend sweep over Nipawin, with a 5-3 win Saturday in Nipawin.
Thomas Lenchyshyn opened the scoring for the Hawks, but the Mustangs went on to score the next five unanswered. Justin Ball led the way with a goal and two assists. Reed Gunville, Tanner Zentner, Carson Albrecht and Kayle Tosh also notched goals. Logan Casavant and Michael Grant added third period markers for the Hawks.
Evan Plotnik stopped 32/35 shots to earn the win.
The Estevan Bruins won their second straight over Melville, 5-1 on the road.
Full stats were unavailable, but scoring for Estevan were Zach Goberis, Tanner McKechnie, T.J. Irey and Michael McChesney.
Troy Williams spoiled the Bruins’ shutout during the third period.