The Estevan Bruins are still waiting for the bounces to start going in the opponents net rather than their own this season, as another solid 60-minute effort fell short on Wednesday night in Yorkton.
Terriers’ captain and SJHL-leading scorer Chantz Petruic was the recipient of two lucky bounces and Yorkton scored a late empty-net goal to defeat the Bruins 3-1 on a night when both goaltenders were the best players for their respective teams.
The Bruins had defeated Yorkton in both previous meetings this season, but this was the first game with Ryan Ouellette in between the pipes for Yorkton. Meanwhile, Estevan’s star goaltender Keenan Rancier has continued his steller play since the first game of the year.
The 1st period would feature plenty of chances at both end of the rink with both Rancier and Ouellette shutting the door in a scoreless opening frame, with shots favouring Estevan 12-11.
The majority of the 2nd period would play out the same as both teams looked for the first goal, which would come for the home team in the dying minutes of the period. Petruic came in down the left wing and fired a shot on net from a distance, which was easily stopped by Rancier and deflected into the corner. However, Petruic got to the puck first and tossed the puck back towards the net from the corner which bounced in off the back of Rancier to make it 1-0 at the 17:10 mark.
Early in the 3rd period, a battle in the corner would lead to a double-minor penalty to Bruins’ forward Tanner Manz as he accidentally high-sticked a Terrier player. On the 4-minute powerplay for Yorkton, both teams would score.
First, Petruic would skate end-to-end and put a shot on goal from the slot which again was easily stopped. However, Petruic got to his own rebound and slapped a backhander on goal which Rancier stopped…but the puck slid down his shoulder, off the back of his pad, and trickled just barely over the goal line to make it 2-0 at the 5:08 mark.
Then just over a minute later at 6:28, rookie forward Caleb Petrie would get his first career SJHL goal. Tyson Manz forced a turnover at the Bruins’ blue line and Petrie broke in all alone, picking the low glove-side corner to make it a 2-1 game.
The Bruins continued to search for the equalizer as the period wound down, earning a powerplay with 2:28 left to play. On the powerplay, Devan Harrison one-timed a point shot that made it through a screen and was deflected nicely by Isaiah Thomas. Unfortunately, the deflection went off the crossbar and harmlessly into the corner. The Bruins would pull the goalie for the extra attacker and got another solid shot on goal with traffic, but Ouellette made the save and when Yorkton cleared the puck their penalized player Steven Norum jumped out of the penalty box. Norum scored into the open net to seal a 3-1 win for Yorkton over the Bruins.
Keenan Rancier (31/33) was perfect except for those two unlucky bounces, putting together his 14th 30+ save performance of the season. Ryan Ouellette (30/31) earned the win for Yorkton.
The Bruins were (0/3) on the powerplay, while Yorkton went (1/6) on the man advantage.
The Bruins will now return home to Estevan for the next two games on the weekend. First, the Bruins host Kindersley on Friday night and then welcome in Melfort on Saturday, both games starting at 7:30pm.