The Nipawin Hawks did what all four top seeds did on the opening night of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League quarter finals, they won on home ice.

The Broncos, playing in their first post season game in three seasons showed their inexperience and nerves through the first half of the contest which contributed to an opening period deficit and eventually a 4-1 loss.

"It took us a little while to get our legs underneath us and get used to what the intensity and pressure was going to be like in this rink," explained Assistant Coach Brayden Klimosko on the post game show. 

He admitted it was closer than the score perhaps suggested.

"It probably took us almost 30 minutes to make us feel like we knew what we were going to have to do. It was a little closer than what the score showed here tonight, we had some opportunities, we've just got to know what it takes here."

Nipawin put the pressure on early and just 1:40 in they had the lead, Josh Bly redirected a point shot past Garrett Mason making it 1-0, Michael Grant snapped a power-play goal past Mason as well in the opening frame.

Humboldt did get what they needed just past the game's halfway point, the next goal that came off the stick of Michael Korol. The three Bronco deflected a Stephan Wack point shot cutting the lead to 2-1 at 12:19 of period two for his first career SJHL post season goal. Matthieu Gomercic added the second assist.

The one goal margin was quickly pushed back to two by the Hawks, on another redirection Keegan Milligan beat Mason to make it 3-1 1:57 later on another man advantage.

The home team took another two goal lead to the room, Daven Smith put the icing on the cake with a goofy one from centre ice that took a home town bounce off the infamous Zamboni door to the left of Humboldt's net that handcuffed the Broncos veteran netminder capping the scoring at 4-1.

"After we got our legs underneath us we were fine," Klimosko continued. "It just took us that long, we expected that and knew it was going to be tough slugging to start but overall I think the last 30 minutes weren't bad and we competed right with them the whole time."

 The shots did show a one sided affair but those were inflated by power-plays, the Hawks were 2/7 with the man advantage, Humboldt only generated three opportunities but they did score their goal during their first one.

Overall Mason was forced into 47 stops, SJHL Most Valuable Player Kristian Stead steered aside 23/24 in the Hawks net.

Game two is Saturday night at the Elgar Petersen Arena, face-off is 7:30. The Broncos office will be open at 12pm for ticket pick-up and purchases.

Elsewhere in the other quarter-final contests, Flin Flon cruised to a 4-1 win over Notre Dame, Estevan escaped a scare from Yorkton with a 2-1 win and the Battlefords survived the Weyburn Red Wings in game one 4-3.

All four series continue Saturday.

You can hear more from Klimosko below.

During the game it was announced that Trevor Posch was the 2017 recipient of the Roger Nielsen Hockey Ministries Award, you will learn more about that accomplishment next week.

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