The age-old axiom is the playoffs starts a brand new season. All the accumulated stats from the regular season go out the window. On the other hand, those stats show trends on performance for players or a team coming down the home stretch, and for the SJHL first round of the playoffs, those stats mean that no team can be taken lightly. 

No one knows this better than Humboldt Broncos’ Coach Scott Barney, and it’s something he’s instilled in his players heading into round one and their matchup with the Weyburn Red Wings. There’s no doubt the season finisher, a pair of victories against the league leading Flin Flon Bombers, adds fuel to the fire.  

“It’s been great success in the second half. I think a lot of it is attention to detail here from our young team, staying on our habits, and doing the little things right. We’re clicking on all cylinders now, and heading into this weekend, it’s a whole new season. We’ll use the end of the regular season, especially the wins against Flin Flon, as momentum.” 

That regular season conclusion resulted in the Broncos’ wrapping up top standing in their division and a third place overall in the League. It’s served as a litmus test against what’s coming in the playoffs, says Barney.  

“You’ve got to compare yourself with the top teams in the league, and if you can beat the top teams, then it gives you optimism. I think our guys’ confidence level is high right now, but the biggest thing is not getting too high. The same effort we had against Flin Flon, we need to have that against Weyburn going forward.” 

Weyburn has also been on a late season tear picking up a solid string of wins in the home stretch. When it comes to the Red Wings, there’s no lack of respect on Barney’s part as to what their southern opponents can do on the ice.  

“Weyburn has got a strong, fast team; they play physical, they’ve got four twenty-year-old defensemen, they’ve got a netminder who’s up for goalie of the year. They have a team that’s very dangerous, and it’s a team we’ve got to be ready for. We’re looking forward to the challenge.” 

One of the key premiums to the finish is the home openers for the series. The Broncos clearly felt the energy in their own building throughout the season, but no more so than the final weekend’s home stand against Flin Flon. Barney knows what Bronco fans have to offer.  

“It’s huge to get the home ice advantage. We have great fans here in Humboldt, probably the best fans in the SJHL, and to have those crowds there on Friday and Saturday, we hope it’s that and more coming this weekend to support the guys.” 

If you’ve missed the Bronco bandwagon with this exciting young team, there’s no better time than to jump on the Green and Gold speedster and get caught up headlong into the excitement. Game time for the series openers on Friday and Saturday is 7:00 pm. Come one, come all to the biggest show in town – it's playoff time with your Humboldt Broncos.