The Battlefords North Stars fell 2-1 to the division-rival Humboldt Broncos in an overtime thriller Tuesday night at the Civic Centre, that saw each goaltender all but steal the show for their respective side.
Dane Dow for the Broncos and Joel Grzybowski of the Stars entered action as the two most heavily-relied upon goaltenders in the league with the workhorses turning in their league leading 25th and 24th starts respectively for their teams.
Tuesday night proved why the two goalies are given so much playing time, with Dow turning aside 34 of the 35 shots he faced in the victory, and Joel Grzybowski stopping 37 of the 39 pucks shot his way, giving his team confidence throughout the matchup.
Scoreless through the first two periods, it was the visiting Broncos leading in shots by a 25-23 margin through 40 minutes.
Despite Humboldt’s slight advantage on the shot count, ultimately it would be the North Stars who would break the ice first in the final regulation period, with the opening scoring play coming just passed the five-minute mark of the period, courtesy of the usual suspects.
The goal occurred when Ryan Gil, picking the puck up in neutral ice, then threaded a pass up ahead to Matthias Urbanski. The speedy sophomore, Urbanski, charging in over the blue line then proceeded to wrist a shot high to the goalie’s glove hand, eluding the seemingly flawless netminder to put the Stars up 1-0 with just under 15 minutes to go to victory.
Unfortunately for the Stars’ faithful in attendance, however, the scoring summary would not end there, as the pen still held a bit of ink.
About five minutes later, it was the Broncos answering back thanks largely to a fortuitous bounce after Owen Guenter saw his initial shot on goal stopped, only to watch it bounce in off a Stars’ skate; 1-1, Humboldt had tied it.
After the remainder of regulation solved nothing, it was off to overtime for already the second time through the first three games in the clubs’ season-series.
Much like the first O.T. game between them, it was the Broncos who would play the spoiler at the Civic Centre, thanks this time to Logan Foster.
Foster, who had been a standout for his team all evening, capped off the night on a rush chance that saw the forward make a couple of nice moves as he juked and jived his way into the North Stars zone, before then snapping off a quick release that managed to find its way through the stunned Stars’ goalie and in; 2-1 Broncos the final.
The black and silver will now aim to rebound quickly, before heading back into action Thursday against the La Ronge Ice Wolves. Pregame will begin at 7:15 p.m. with puck drop to follow at 7:30 p.m.
5:37 BAT Matthias Urbanski (14) ASST: Ryan Gil (15)
10:21 HUM Owen Guenter (9) ASST: None
2:59 HUM Logan Foster (5) ASST: None
2-1 Broncos, Final
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