Nearly a year after a tragic bus crash, the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team are one game away from clinching the quarter-finals against the Estevan Bruins.
The team’s success comes after the year after the April 6, 2018 crash which killed 16 people and injured 13 others. But the Broncos hit a snag on Friday when they fell in a double-overtime defeat.
Broncos head coach Scott Barney praised the Bruins for winning the game 3-2 on Friday night. But he had still faith in his own players to eventually clinch the series, which the Broncos lead 3-2.
“Obviously, they fought back hard there and got a win. And that's good for them,” he told CTV Regina. “We just [have] to go back to our rink and hopefully finish it off there.”
The defeat was a disappointment for Broncos fans, as Humboldt entered Game 5 with a chance to clinch the series. They had got out to an early 2-0 lead but a second goal by the Bruins -- with less than three minutes left in regulation -- sent the game to its first overtime.
Then, a minute 43 seconds into double overtime, Estevan Bruins forward Tanner Manz scored a decisive goal which lifted the Bruins to a win over the Broncos at Affinity place in Estevan, Sask.
During the game, Estevan Bruins head coach Chris Lewgood told reporters that the key to victory for his team was “not to get sleepy [and] not to get complacent.”
The Bruins came within one game of winning Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s Canalta Cup last year.