Fans were anticipating a close contest, but the Humboldt Broncos machine rolled over the Portage Terriers in the first two games of the ANAVET cup series last weekend. Games 1 and 2 were played April 20 and 21 on the Broncos’ home ice in front of 1,500 and 1,300 fans respectively. The games oddly lacked a lot of emotion from the Portage side, perhaps due to the fact that no matter the outcome of this series, both teams will be heading to the RBC Cup in Humboldt in May. But still at stake is the title of ANAVET Cup champion, and it seemed like the Terriers weren’t fighting for that. In Game 1, the Terriers flew off the opening faceoff, and provided some stiff competition for the first minutes of the game. However, the Broncos’ depth and speed showed as the period went on, while the Terriers seemed to lose strength and drive. Humboldt got their first goal at the seven-minute mark, scored by Robbie Ciolfi off a shot from the point. Matt Glowa and Mathew Backhouse got the assists on that point. Just a minute later, the Broncos were back in front of the Portage net. Amid a crowd, Bronco captain Taylor Johnson snuck the puck past Portage goaltender Adam Iwan, to give Humboldt a 2-0 lead. Joey Davies got the assist on that point. Ciolfi struck again from the point, this time on the power play, scoring another point for the home team at 15:49. Logan Sproule got the assist. Then in the dying seconds of the period, a shot by Ryan Marshall found its way to the back of the Portage net, putting the Broncos up 4-0 at the end of the first period. Andrew Johnston and Adam Antkowiak assisted on that point. In the second, the Broncos added two more goals to their total. John Lawrence shot one into the Portage net at 3:38 of the second, assisted by Ciolfi and Glowa. Then Johnston sent the puck past Iwan’s glove hand and buried it in the back of the net on a power play at 6:15, to make it a 6-0 game. Iwan was pulled from the game at that point, and replaced by backup goaltender Shea Cooper. Cooper held off anymore Bronco scoring in the second, and in the third, Portage got their first puck past Bronco netminder Matt Hrynkiw. Tanner Waldvogel scored the first Terrier point on a power play at 1:50 of the third. But Glowa gained back Humboldt’s six-point lead when he skated by the Portage net and shoved the puck in while the Broncos were shorthanded at 6:15 of the third. Davies got Humboldt’s final goal of the night at 10:12 of the third, assisted by Antkowiak. But Portage managed to get a second point at 19:28, scored by Brett Fargher. Final score: 8-2 Humboldt. Penalties in the game were average in number — Humboldt served seven, with four in the third period, while Portage had five, just one of which was called in the third. The Terriers were one for five on the power play, and the Broncos were two for four. The Broncos outshot the Terriers 36 to 26. The three stars of the game were all Broncos — Ciolfi, Johnston and Marshall. The next night, the two teams met again at the Elgar Petersen Arena in Humboldt, and again, the Broncos skated away with a win, putting them up 2-0 in the series. Bronco Adam Zbitniff scored the first goal of the night at 3:03 of the first, assisted by Neil Landry and Adam Antkowiak. Landry got the second at 13:36, with help from Adam Antkowiak and Mathew Backhouse. In the second, Andrew Johnston added a third to Humboldt’s total at 1:06, assisted by Ciolfi. Portage managed to score on Bronco goalie Colin Dzijacky at 3:30 of the second, thanks to Yvan Pattyn, then they got another goal, this time shorthanded at 6:10 of the second. The Broncos were up 4-2 by the end of the second, thanks to an 18:29 goal by Antkowiak, assisted by Josh Roach. In the third, the Broncos managed two more, both on the same power play early in the period. Johnston got the Broncos’ fifth goal at 3:19, assisted by Roach and Kameron Ballas, and Ryan Marshall got the sixth and final for the Broncos, assisted by Roach and Backhouse, at 4:37. The Terriers were able to add one more, at 9:45, to make it a 6-3 game, thanks to Kajon MacKay. Play was rough in the third period of this game. A wealth of penalties were awarded to the Terriers, for high sticking, hooking, tripping, roughing, cross checking and roughing after the whistle — eight penalties in total. The Broncos earned just five penalties in the game, with only two for roughing in the third period. The Terriers were zero for three on the power play, while the Broncos were two for 10. Again, all three game stars were Broncos, including Antkowiak, Roach and Johnston. On April 23, just before the Broncos began their journey to Portage, Broncos head coach Dean Brockman didn’t know quite how to describe the games, or explain the lack of intensity in the first two games of the series. Going into the series, Brockman said he was “expecting quite a bit” from the Terriers. The team still has 14 players from last year on the team, and in 2011, the team won the ANAVET and went on to the RBC, so they have experience in their ranks. In Game 1, “our guys were pretty hot,” Brockman said. They went into it ready to fight for a win. In Game 2, a few bad habits came out for the Broncos, Brockman said, and they did some things they shouldn’t be doing. There was a lack of atmosphere in the rink for this point in the season, Brockman said, which was pretty weird. The lack of intensity from their opponents did affect the Broncos, Brockman felt. “I think we took them a lot lighter than we should have,” he said of Game 2. Still, they managed a win, despite not being at their best. The number of penalties to Portage in the third was a sign of that team’s frustration, Brockman felt. That’s unusual, and unexpected, for a series this late in the season. Brockman expected more of the Terriers in Game 3, set to be played in Portage on April 24. “Being at home (there will be) a bit more of a fight, I think,” he said. “I’m sure it will be.” If the Terriers are going to push back, he added, it’s going to be in Game 3. Game 4 of the series is set for April 25, with an if-necessary Game 5 on April 26. Should the series not be decided by Game 5, the teams will come back to Humboldt for Games 6 and 7 on April 28 and 29.