By Craig Stein
CHANGES AT TOP OF AG RISK, VITERRA DIVISIONS
(Melfort/Humboldt picture courtesy: Clark Stork)
There’s a new leader in the SJHL’s Global Ag Risk Solutions Division, as the Battlefords North Stars picked up their fourth straight victory, 3-2 in overtime over the Notre Dame Hounds in Gull Lake, which jumps the Stars a point past the Kindersley Klippers for the edge in the division.
Braydon Buziak was the overtime hero, scoring 1:32 into the extra frame. The North Stars (24-10-4-4) built a 2-0 lead as MacGregor Sinclair opened the scoring with a first period powerplay goal, and Owen Lamb added another early in the second.
The Hounds (18-16-4-4) clawed their way back in the third with a pair of goals 47 seconds apart from Jarrett Penner and Jakob Breault.
Chad Duran made 20/22 saves to pick up the win. Riley Kohonick stopped 32/35 for the Hounds.
It was a tough off night for the Kindersley Klippers, as they slip from 2nd to 5th in the overall standings for the time being. They do have a game in hand on the Stars and a crucial head to head matchup coming up Tuesday in North Battleford.
The Estevan Bruins have now erased the Yorkton Terriers’ Viterra Division lead, pulling into a first place tie on Saturday thanks to a Terrier loss to Flin Flon, and their own 6-3 win over Weyburn, sweeping their home-and-home while winning their third straight.
The Bruins (21-20-2-1) have still played two more games than the Terriers. They used a spread out scoring attack in Saturday’s win, with six different goal scorers. Isaiah Thomas had a goal and an assist, while Kade McMillen, Will Koop, Ryder Pierson, TJ Irey and Tyson Manz added the others. Kadin Kilpatrick picked up the win, making 22/25 saves.
Eric Soar (1g-1a) had his second straight two point game for the Red Wings (14-24-3-0) after a two goal performance on Friday. Connor Pyne and Rhett Frey had the others. The Wings still trail Melville by a point for a playoff spot and missed a chance to overtake them with the Millionaires having Saturday off. Weyburn has two games in hand, and it’ll be three in hand after Sunday when Melville hosts Flin Flon in the lone matchup on the schedule.
It’s now six straight wins for the Flin Flon Bombers as they went into Yorkton and beat the Terriers 5-3.
Calvon Boots opened the scoring but his night was cut short after a game misconduct for checking from behind. Vincent Nardone, Daylan Marchi, Chrystopher Collin and Brandson Hein all had a goal and an assist, and Gabriel Waked is still unbeaten with Flin Flon, making 28/31 saves.
The Bombers (26-13-0-2) started the night in sixth place overall and they’ll stay there as everyone around them also picked up points, but now they’re just one point out of fourth place as Kindersley and Melfort are now tied for that spot.
The Terriers (22-19-1-0) cut a 3-0 deficit to 3-2 thanks to Jared Legien’s 34th of the season and a Brendan Mark powerplay goal early in the second. Colby Brandt added one more on the man advantage in the dying seconds.
Due to games in hand the Terriers are still officially third overall with the Viterra Division lead, but Estevan catching them could mean dropping as low as 8th or 9th.
Flin Flon looks for a perfect 3-in-3 and seven straight wins when they play a 4:00 game Sunday in Melville.
Saturday’s performance of the night likely came in a losing effort, as Melfort’s Colin Schmidt scored three third period goals to force overtime in Humboldt, where the Broncos later took back the two points when Logan Foster (1g-1a) scored with five seconds left in OT for a 5-4 (OT) Humboldt victory.
The Broncos (25-16-2-1) held 3-1 and 4-2 leads in the third period before Schmidt fired home his 13th, 14th and 15th of the season, the last of which coming with 21 seconds left in regulation.
Defenseman Alex Rondeau also scored for the Mustangs (26-13-3-0) and Justin Ball had a pair of assists giving him a league best 74 points (42g-32a) on the year.
Mitch Zambon had a pair of goals in regulation for Humboldt while Bryson Cecconi (1g-1a) and Brayden Camrud had the others. Rayce Ramsay made 38/42 saves in the win.
With Melfort’s overtime loss, the Nipawin Hawks took advantage picking up two points and extending their Sherwood Division lead to seven points with a 5-1 decision over La Ronge at The Cage in the back end of their home and home.
That’s 30 wins on the season now for the league-leading Hawks (30-12-1-1), who hold a six point edge on Battlefords in the overall standings.
Hawks forward Michael Makarenko was without a goal in his first 31 SJHL games, and then scored three over the weekend, notching his first one Friday in La Ronge, before adding two more in Saturday’s rematch. Another rookie, 16-year-old Jaxsen Wiebe added a goal and an assist with Carson Erhardt and Walker Cote adding the others. Shots were 49-13 Nipawin as Declan Hobbs needed just 12/13 saves for the win.
Defenseman Antoine Dumoulin scored his first SJHL goal for the Ice Wolves (10-31-1-1) and Jordan Frey made 44/49 saves. Frey faced 104 shots in the home-and-home, making 97 saves (.933%).