Coming off a 7-2 big win over Notre Dame in last Saturday’s regular season home opener, Humboldt Broncos Head Coach Scott Barney is seeing what he wants to see out of his club. He also knows that the horsemen will face another challenging test this weekend with a home and home against the Melfort Mustangs, who’ve played the Broncos tough this season.
“It’s been a good start,” notes Barney. “It’s obviously good to play your first game at home in front of our own fans. The guys played a solid 60 minutes; we were skating well, defending, obviously getting a lot of shots on net, and we were rewarded for it.”
The new Broncos are surfacing to show what they’re capable of - players like Ben Kotylak who got the nod for game star on Saturday, and Carsten Kayter, named DirectWest Rookie of the Week in the SJHL for his two assist effort in the home opener. They’re supported by a worthy core of veterans, says Barney.
“Ben had a big game with a couple of goals for us. Obviously our veterans have been great at instilling some of the values we believe in here as Broncos. Tristan Boileau had a great game as well. Sometimes it’s not easy for a goalie who is not getting a lot of shots during a period, but I thought our defense looked good overall, skating well back there.”
It’s a proverbial horse of a different colour this weekend as the Broncos face their rivals to the north, the Melfort Mustangs. The Mustangs have twice bested the Broncos in exhibition play, narrowly defeating Humboldt in a shootout and a second time in more commanding fashion.
“Melforts got a top club this year,” Barney admits. “They’ve got a lot of veteran players back, and arguably one of the best goalies in the league with (Joel) Favreau, so I think we’re going to have to get our skating going early, pressuring them, getting a lot of pucks on net, and get a lot of traffic on a goalie like that. If he doesn’t see it, hopefully he doesn’t stop it.”
Barney’s respect for Favreau is well founded as the 20 year old netminder was named SJHL goalie of the week, stopping 47-49 shots in the Mustangs' weekend split.
The prospect of solid goaltending will be met in the Bronco’s end with Boileau and counterpart Benjamin Motew between the pipes.
“It’s going to be two great games both in Melfort and in Humboldt and good for both teams' fans.”
As if the Saturday home game excitement wasn’t enough, South 20 Dodge Chrysler has once again guaranteed a $5000 50/50 draw at the game. Tickets are available live that night or online at humboldtbroncos.com.