Saturday, November 17, 2012

Hawks Defeat Broncos 2-1, 3rd Straight Win:

In the first, both teams came out looking strong and playing hard, but no one could beat the netminders at either end. Late in the period, Davis Jones was tested as Joey Davies went in on a breakaway. Davies got a clean shot away but Grant Jensen appeared to have played a little too aggressive, and the referee called a penalty shot. The crowd gave huge boos and made sure Davies couldn't hear himself think, and it proved worthy as Jones made a sharp glove save to keep the game scoreless. Shots after one were 9-9 and it was scoreless.

Early in the period, the ref would do his best to even up the calls by giving the Hawks an early powerplay, but they were unable to get any pressure prior to taking their own penalty. Humboldt seems to really come in waves, not a lot of 1 or 2 man rushes, you often see the whole offensive line rush to the net. For most of the 2nd, the Hawks seemed to be playing much better hockey and at one point the Hawks were up in 3nd period shots 14-2. The 14th shot would be the one to finally beat Humboldt goaltender Matt Hyrnkiw after Arti had a chance in front and the goalie couldn't hang on to the rebound. Carter Danczak eventually beat Hrynkiw after Yan and Arti worked with Danczak in front. The period was all Hawks and the shots showed it, 26-15 in favor of the Hawks.

Just 15 seconds in to he third, the Hawks energy line struck as Michael Lambert got a hard shot in the slot after receiving a pass from the side of the net from Dustin Skilliter, with Carter Coben also working in on the play. Nipawin continued their hard working game in to the first half of the period, but the Broncos showed a little bit more hustle as the period ticked down. Both teams would see a couple powerplays in the period but saves by Hrynkiw and Jones kept the game close. Near the midway mark, Jones would lose a puck behind him off a shot by Cody Pongracz and it would trickle in. Davies and Neil Landry had the assists. Humboldt would continue to buzz late in the period but they could not develop too much momentum as the Hawks played very well defensively. Hrynkiw left the net with just under a minute to go but the extra attacker didn't help the Broncos as the Hawks ended their 6 game winning streak with a 2-1 victory. The win extends Doug Johnsons' club win streak to 3 games. Nipawin outshot Humboldt 37-26 overall with Jeff Datoff picking up first star. Jeff played the game with a cage after taking a skate to the face last night. He discusses in the interview below.

Davis Jones made 25 saves for his 8th win of the season, while Matt Hrynkiw made 35 saves in just his 5th loss of the year.

Overall I thought the Hawks were a very very good hockey team. Coming in, Humboldt was just that, very very good. Nipawin got great defense tonight and when they got the puck they made the right plays. Humboldt showed signs of life at various moments in the game, and like every other time I've seen them play they seem to come at you in waves of 3 or 4 skaters and you can tell teams struggle with that but tonight Nipawin did a good job of containing Humboldt. Michael Lambert took a hard check and appeared hurt, but appeared to come back better than ever as he turned in his best effort of the season. Artsiom and Yan Kalashnikov also played very strong, getting the puck in the zone with smart plays, with both of them picking up an assist as well. Perhaps their best games of the year as well. Grant Jensen also turned in his best game, he broke up a few sure-scoring opportunities.

Next up for the Hawks is a  Tuesday nighter in Melville. The Hawks beat the Millionaires on Friday night with a 1-0 shutout for Davis Jones. That game can be heard live on CK750 with Branden Crowe, and you can also catch the game live on beginning at 7:15. The Hawks return home Saturday night when the Battlefords North Stars make their first of two visits to the Centennial Arena.

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