The Hawks’ special teams were exactly that in the first period Friday as Nipawin scored six times in the opening period on route to a 7-1 win over Kindersley.
After the Klippers opened the scoring the Hawks exploded for half a dozen goals in just under seven minutes. Braxton Buckberger scored his first of two on the power-play, Ronan Buckberger scored his first career Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) goal just over one minute later, the 17-year-old will get credit for the game winner with the man advantage.
Evan Forrest scored back-to-back shorthanded goals 18 seconds apart giving Nipawin a 4-1 lead. With the crowd still roaring, Eric Hoiness also scored his first career SJHL goal 52 seconds later, Finley Radloff added his first goal of the campaign in the final minute giving the Hawks a five goal cushion going to the second period. Braxton Buckberger added another in the third to cap the scoring after a goalless middle period. Buckberger said the result was a good team win.
“It’s good to get the first win of the season under our belts,” he said. “The boys came out firing early, yeah, just a good win.”
Nipawin finished with two power-play goals on six chances and two goals coming during Kindersley man advantages, Kindersley couldn’t capitalize on their five power-play chances. Damon Cunningham picked up the win in net for Nipawin, he made 20 saves. Cody Jaman took the loss, he allowed five goals in the first period and was relieved by Logan Falk, Falk allowed a goal on the lone shot he faced before Jaman returned to the net to start the second period and finish the game, he was credited with 28 stops.
As the Buckberger brothers connected on each other’s power-play goals, the elder brother Braxton said seeing Ronan score his first was a special moment.
“It’s a huge steppingstone in his development as a player and it was great to be on the ice with him when he had that moment,” he said.
The 20-year-old Saskatoon brothers combined for seven points, Braxton had four and sits second in the early season scoring race with six points. Buckberger added that the team will have the same mindset heading into Saturday’s home showdown with the Notre Dame Hounds.
Faceoff is 7 p.m.