Humboldt special in ANAVET win

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 12:12 PM ET

SELKIRK -- The term "special teams" gets bandied about relentlessly during hockey playoffs.

It was never more applicable than last night at the Selkirk Rec Complex.

The hometown Steelers scored twice with the man advantage to stay in the game, but the Humboldt Broncos got the most important power-play tally of them all.

Justin Stoski's rebound power-play marker with 11:10 remaining in the third period stood as the winner, as the Broncos took Game 1 of the best-of-seven ANAVET Cup 3-2 in front of a standing-room-only crowd of 2,500.

The Steelers need a win in Game 2 tonight at 7:30 at the SRC, because Games 3, 4 and 5 are slated for Humboldt next week. The winner advances to the Royal Bank Cup national junior A hockey championship in Prince George, B.C., next month.

"This win is so big," Stoski said. "It's crucial when we had about 12 days off and an eight-hour bus ride here. Getting this first win was huge. Words can't describe how big it was."

The MJHL-champion Steelers were 2-for-8 with the man advantage through two periods, and SJHL-champion Humboldt was 0-for-4. Yet the score was 2-2.

"In the second period the power-plays started coming for us, and we didn't necessarily take advantage of them the way we should've," Selkirk coach Keith Cassidy said. "And you knew that was going to come back around in the third period. And it did, and it cost us."

Selkirk's Grant Perdonic went off first in the final frame, for hooking at 3:23, and he was followed by Andrew Rewucki, who got pinched for high-sticking at 7:31. That's when the Broncos made them pay.

Stoski buried a big rebound in the slot as he was falling down to give Humboldt at least a split going home.

The Steelers, who lost only 10 games in regulation during the regular season and playoffs, got one more power-play opportunity with 3:40 to go, but they couldn't capitalize.

Humboldt outshot Selkirk 19-4 in the final frame.

Steven Schroeder, just 39 seconds into the game, and Brady Heintz had the other Humboldt goals, while twins Kyle and Brent Howarth had the power-play tallies for the Steelers.

Andrew Leslie was solid in the Selkirk net, making 34 stops after returning from an ankle injury that forced him to miss the last month and a half.

Nathan Heinen made 18 saves for the Broncos.


Videos

Photos