The Estevan Bruins welcomed the SJHL-leading Flin Flon Bombers to Affinity Place on Wednesday night and, with goaltender Boston Bilous turning in his finest game of the season, skated off with a 3-1 victory.
Coming off a weekend split against Melfort and Nipawin, the Bruins were looking to build some momentum with two more home games before hitting the road for four straight games. The 1st period saw Flin Flon outshoot Estevan 18-9, thanks in large part to the Bombers getting three powerplays, but Bilous and the Bruins’ penalty kill kept the game scoreless after 20 minutes.
However, the Bombers would get the first goal of the game on yet another powerplay as Jaxon Martens scored just 1:12 into the period to make it 1-0 for Flin Flon. The Bruins would get a few glorious chances in the 2nd period, but remained down by a goal entering the final frame.
In the 3rd period, the Bruins would go down shorthanded early once again. But this time, it would be the Bruins scoring while down a skater to tie the game. After Griffin Asham-Moroz cleared the puck to the neutral zone, defenceman Kian Calder picked up the puck and skated in on a 2-on-2 with Caelan Fitzpatrick. Calder fed Fitzpatrick in the slot and the Bruins’ leading scorer ripped a shot past Bombers’ goalie Cal Schell to tie the game at 1-1 just 3:11 into the 3rd period.
The Bruins would take their first lead of the game midway through the period, as it would be Olivier Pouliot and Asham-Moroz working the puck out front from behind the net onto the tape of Eric Houk, as the Bruins’ captain scored his first goal of the season to put the Bruins’ ahead 2-1 at the 9:04 mark.
Flin Flon poured on the pressure late looking for the equalizer. But after the Bruins killed off yet another penalty, and after a close call with Bilous caught out of his net, Mikol Sartor would blindly backhand the puck down the ice into the empty net to ice the game with a 3-1 final score.
Boston Bilous (41/42) was named the game’s 1st star after a stellar performance in net, while Cal Schell (28/30) is tagged with the loss for Flin Flon. For the first time this season, the Bruins’ failed to score a powerplay goal (0/2). However, they held Flin Flon to (1/6) on the powerplay and scored a shorthanded goal to even the special teams battle.
The Bruins (6-3-0-0) now prepare to host the La Ronge Ice Wolves (3-7-1-1) on Thursday night at 7pm at Affinity Place, as La Ronge is coming off a 3-2 SO loss in Humboldt on Wednesday night.