By Craig Stein
Parker Tobin stopped all 37 shots he faced, and the Humboldt Broncos shutout the Melfort Mustangs in Game 5 Saturday, winning the Best-of-Seven Quarter-Final series 4-1.
The Broncos finished the regular season 12 points back of the Mustangs in the standings, but rattled off three straight wins, all with Tobin between the pipes, as they turned a 1-1 series tied to a five game series win in a hurry. Tobin entered the series in Game 3, and went 3-0, with a 0.99 Goals Against Average, a .968 save percentage along with Saturday’s shutout.
Jaxon Joseph, Logan Schatz and Nick Shumlanski continued to lead the way offensively, each chipping in a goal and an assist in Saturday’s clincher. Shumlanski is tied for the lead in playoff points with 10 (4g-6a) in those five games, while Schatz had 8 points (2g-6a) in the series. Joseph opened the scoring with his 6th of the series, which also tied him for the league lead in that department as he played a huge part in eliminating his former club, finishing with 6g-2a in the series.
Evan Plotnik stopped 33/36 shots in goal for Mustangs in his final junior hockey game.
The Broncos move on to face the #1 seed Nipawin Hawks in the SJHL Semi-Finals. The defending champion Battlefords North Stars will tangle with the Viterra Division champion Estevan Bruins in the other, a rematch of last year’s semi for both teams.
No schedules are released yet but it’s reasonable to assume both series would start on Good Friday, after a long layoff for all four teams.