Broncos take two-game lead in playoff series

Broncos defenceman Randy Lariviere maneuvers the puck around a Birch Hills player during Game 1 action Feb. 21.

Broncos defenceman Randy Lariviere maneuvers the puck around a Birch Hills player during Game 1 action at PineRidge Ford Place on Flying Dust First Nation Feb. 21.

by Phil Ambroziak

The Meadow Lake Broncos are ready to become Beaver Lakes Hockey League (BLHL) champions.
At least that’s how team president Glen Dennis Jr. feels about the club, which has yet to claim a BLHL title since joining the league in the fall of 2012. The closest they came was last year when they lost to the Big River Braves in the championship final.

“This year, we’ll either face Big River or the Beardy’s Blackhawks in the final – both of which will be tough teams to beat,” Dennis said.

First, however, Meadow Lake will have to get by the Birch Hills Blackhawks. The two teams are scheduled to meet again this Saturday (Feb. 28) at PineRidge Ford Place on Flying Dust First Nation with the Broncos currently holding a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series.

“I suspect this Saturday’s game will be much like the first two – a very close one,” Dennis continued.

On Saturday (Feb. 21), Meadow Lake defeated Birch Hills 3-2 thanks to a second-period goal by Taylor Arnold and third period markers from Todd Graham and Randy Lariviere. Meanwhile, Sunday’s game in Birch Hills resulted in a 4-2 win for the Broncos thanks to first-period goals by Graham and Cliff Bear, as well as a short-handed effort by Ray Ross. Ross would score again in the second on the power-play.

“The game on Saturday was a real barn burner that could have gone either way – they put up one heck of a fight,” Ross said. “We were lucky to get the go-ahead goal and to hold them off from there. Sunday’s game was held in their rink, where we always seem to get some funny bounces with the puck. But, our line worked really well and I was fortunate enough to get a few goals.”

Ross went on to say his goals were extra special because his father was in the Birch Hills crowd that day.

“With him watching, it made me want to make that extra effort,” Ross added.

The veteran player went on to stress how excited his team is when it comes to this Saturday’s game and, from there, advancing to the finals.

He also believes the Broncos could face Big River for the title again this year.

“I like our chances this year,” he said. “We’re looking good and we have some solid goaltending. Either way, it’s going to be one hell of an ending.”

As of press time, Big River led its series against Beardy’s 2-0.

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