Hanover Tache Junior Hockey League opened regular season play this weekend with all nine teams in action. Last season ended abruptly after Game 1 of the playoff finals where Springfield Xtreme were facing Lorette Comets. Springfield won that game 6-3, but the HTJHL did not award a championship.
October 23-25 recap
Grunthal Red Wings 9, Landmark Blues 4 – Eight different Wings’ players found the back of the net, including Hayden Wiebe (2 g).
Springfield Xtreme 12, Landmark 0 – last years regular season winner gave the newcomers a lesson outshooting the Blues 66-14. Blake Stelmashuk hat trick and an assist led all scorers; Tyler Chapo (2 g, 2 a), Braedy Farmer (2 g, 1 a), Jeff Boonstra (2 g).
Lorette Comets 7, Niverville Clippers 2 – one of three teams who made their return to the league, Niverville kept it close for two periods before the Comets five-goal third period outburst. Kaan Bitchok (2 g, 1 a) and Bailey Hiebert (2 g) led their respective teams.
Red River Mudbugs 5, St. Adolphe Hawks 2 – Braden Hildebrand scored two of the Mudbugs four goals in the final frame to knock off the host Hawks who returned after a one-season hiatus.
La Broquerie Habs 7, Landmark 6 – the Blues took a 4-1 advantage into the third before the stunning conclusion, which ended a 39-game losing streak. It was the first HTJHL victory in nearly seven years for the Habs who finished 0-25-0-0 last season. The team was idle from 2014-2019.
Trailing 4-1 after two periods the Habs began their comeback when Ryan Fuchs scored at 1:17 of the third. It remained 4-2 until 13:32 when Caleb Freynet-Fink scored for the Habs. Vaughn Dupre found the back of the net at 15:04 and again at 16:49 before Freynet-Fink gave them a 6-4 lead at 17:27.
With momentum all but lost the Blues Andrew Stropko put a stop to the five-goal burst :20 later. Landmark would tie the game when Ethan Warkentine scored on the powerplay with just 1:16 to play in regulation.
Dupre (hat trick, one assist) became the game hero scoring the game winner with just :22 left on the clock sending the crowd home happy.
Steinbach Huskies 5, Springfield 2 – captain Caleb Paisley scored a pair while Riley Plett made 27 saves to help the Huskies win on the road.