The Estevan Bruins charge towards playoffs continued on Friday night in Weyburn with a 4-1 victory over the Red Wings, the Bruins’ 5th straight victory.
Combined with a Nipawin Hawks loss to the Melfort Mustangs, the Bruins are now in sole possession of 6th overall in the standings with one game remaining in the regular season.
After a scoreless opening period, the Bruins would get on the board first as Cody Davis scored his 15th of the year to make it 1-0 Bruins at the 13:08 mark of the 2nd period. Eddie Gallagher and Griffin Asham-Moroz assisted on the powerplay marker.
Then at the 17:41 mark, the Bruins would increase their lead to 2-0 as Tyson Manz roared down the wing and fired his 7th of the year past Weyburn’s Joseph Young to give the Bruins a two-goal lead heading into the final frame. Ryder Pierson and Tylor Ludwar assisted on the goal.
Just 29 seconds into the 3rd period, Kade McMillen would fire the puck from the side boards and catch Young out of position to increase the lead to 3-0. Jayden Davis and Tanner Manz assisted on McMillen’s 6th goal of the year.
Weyburn Mathieu Belanger would cut the lead to 3-1 at the 2:51 mark, snapping Randy Cooke’s shutout bid for the Bruins. Shortly thereafter, Bruins’ defenceman Austin King-Cunningham would catch Belanger with a hard, clean hit at center ice as Belanger was dumping the puck in. No penalty was called on the play, as Belanger stayed down on the ice for a few minutes but got to the Weyburn bench under his own power.
That hit spurred on plenty of physicality the rest of the game. At the 8:59 mark, Weyburn’s Nick Dobson was penalized 2 minutes for a blow to the head of Tyson Manz. That hit resulted in a scrum on the ice where 46 PIM were issued.
The Bruins would get an insurance marker at the 12:39 mark as Cody Davis scored his second goal of the night to put the game away, giving the Bruins a 4-1 lead. Gallagher and Brady Nicholas assisted on Davis’ 16th of the year.
Just a few minutes later at the 14:05 mark, Bruins’ forward Tyler Savage and Weyburn’s Jordan Gagnon would drop the gloves and each be issued a 5-minute fighting major. At the same stoppage, King-Cunningham was given two minutes for hooking.
When King-Cunningham stepped out of the penalty box after his minor was served, he raced towards his bench for a line change. On his way there, Weyburn’s Jevon Schwean cut into King-Cunningham’s path and the two players collided. That ignited another scrum where Weyburn’s Connor Stephenson was issued a 5-minute major for cross-checking and a game misconduct, as he cross-checked King-Cunningham in the neck/head area. King-Cunningham was issued a 2-minute minor for a blow to the head and a 10-minute misconduct, and Weyburn’s Palmer Sinclair was issued a 10-minute misconduct.
There would be no more fireworks at the end of the game and the Bruins skated off to a 4-1 victory in front of hundreds of Bruins’ fans who made the short trip up to Weyburn for the game.
Randy Cooke (13/14) earned his sixth straight win in net for the Bruins, as he was largely untested in the game. Weyburn’s Joseph Young (33/37) was tagged with the loss.
The two teams will meet again on Saturday night in Estevan for the regular season finale.