The Estevan Bruins were able to stay perfect early in the 2021-22 season after their first clash with their Highway 39 rivals on Saturday night. The Bruins scored four goals in the opening period and cruised their way to a 6-3 victory on the road over the Weyburn Red Wings.
18-year-old forward Caelan Fitzpatrick would get the party started early with a pair of goals in the first 6:33 of the game. First, Fitzpatrick would pick up the bank pass and on a ‘mini 2-on-1′, snipe top shelf on Weyburn’s Joseph Young to put the Bruins’ up 1-0. Assists to Antoine St. Onge and Owen Simmons. Then only minutes later while shorthanded, Cody Davis would block a shot, track down the loose puck, and on a 2-on-1 feed a perfect pass to Fitzpatrick who wired home his 3rd goal of the season to make it 2-0 Bruins.
The Bruins would continue to pour it on as St. Onge would neatly deflect home his 2nd goal of the year off the Billy Sowa point shot to make it 3-0 at the 12:48 mark, with Aleksa Babic also assisting on the goal. Then before the end of the period, Olivier Pouliot would start the quick transition on the powerplay and work a give-and-go with Kade Runke, who found the back of the net for his first goal in his first game with the team after joining the Bruins’ earlier this week. Weyburn would swap goalies during the intermission, as Young would be replaced by Dazza Mitchell after allowing four goals on 13 shots.
The Bruins’ carried a 4-0 lead into the 2nd period before Weyburn finally responded as Braden Birnie scored at the 5:59 mark to cut the Bruins’ lead to 4-1 after 40 minutes. But the Bruins’ would extend their lead once again early in the 3rd period.
On the powerplay, Simmons fired a perfect cross-ice pass to Mark Rumsey who sniped his 3rd of the season to make it 5-1 at the 5:58 mark of the 3rd period. Fitzpatrick also assisted on the goal for his third point of the night. Less than a minute later, Weyburn’s Matthew Reidy and Bruins’ forward Alex Von Sprecken would get tangled up along the boards and drop the gloves in a spirited fight near the Bruins’ bench. Shortly thereafter, the Bruins’ would score once again as Brandon Ambrozik scored his 2nd of the year at the 7:27 mark to increase the Bruins’ lead to 6-1. Lucas Eagle would assist on the goal, as well as St. Onge who also had a three-point night.
Weyburn would score two late goals from Davis Chorney and Dante Ballarin, but that wouldn’t be enough as the Estevan Bruins skated off with a 6-3 victory on the road.
Boston Bilous made 26 saves in earning his 3rd win in net early this season, while Joseph Young (9/13) would be tagged with the loss for Weyburn with Mitchell (14/16) playing the majority of the game. The Bruins’ special teams was huge in the win, as Estevan went (2/9) on the powerplay and added a shorthanded goal as well, while Weyburn went (1/5) on the powerplay thanks to Ballarin’s late goal.
The Bruins’ are now (3-0-0-0) on the season while Weyburn is (0-2-0-0). Both teams should have four games played to this point but had their respective games against Melville postponed before Saturday night, with no makeup dates announced yet. Both teams will now join the rest of the league in Warman for the annual SJHL Showcase where each team plays two games at the neutral site.
The Bruins will play on Tuesday, Oct. 5th at 4:30pm taking on the La Ronge Ice Wolves in what will technically be a ‘home game’ for Estevan. Then the Bruins’ play in the early game on Wednesday, Oct. 6th as the visitors against the Humboldt Broncos at 10:30am. Both games can be heard on Rock106, and the whole SJHL Showcase will be broadcast live on SaskTel MaxTV.