HUMBOLDT LEADS BEST-OF-7 SERIES 1-0
The Power Dodge Estevan Bruins opened the 2019 postseason at home against the Humboldt Broncos on Friday night.
After a strong start by Estevan, the Broncos chipped away and added a late goal into the empty net to take Game 1 by a 4-1 score over the Bruins.
An electric atmosphere filled Affinity Place with a supercharged crowd eager to cheer on the Bruins after winning their third straight Viterra Division title during the regular season.
However, their opponent would be a tough one as the Humboldt Broncos finished seven points ahead of the Bruins in the standings and took all four meetings between the two teams in 2018/19.
With the rink buzzing early in the 1st period, the Bruins would open the scoring just 4:11 into action. TJ Irey, who returned to the lineup after missing a month with a knee injury, passed the puck over to Turner Ripplinger in the slot who sent a quick shot on net.
Broncos goaltender Rayce Ramsay made the save but the rebound bounced over to Bryce Platt, as the Bruins’ forward scored the first goal of the postseason to give Estevan a 1-0 lead.
That remained the score after the 1st period, as Ramsay and Estevan’s starting goaltender Grant Boldt shut the door.
A tight-checking game continued into the 2nd period, with both teams earning chances but no team able to get the next goal. However, that would change with only 25 seconds remaining in the middle frame. Humboldt defenceman Josh Patrician beat Boldt five-hole with a quick shot and the score would be tied 1-1 heading into the 3rd period.
The Broncos would keep their momentum going early into the 3rd period, as Bryson Cecconi scored just 40 seconds in to give Humboldt their first lead of the game at 2-1.
Estevan would look for the equalizer, applying great pressure and earning a powerplay about halfway through the period. After a couple of great chances that were shut down by Ramsay, the Broncos would pressure the Bruins on the breakout and force a turnover. Brayden Camrud would set up Reid Arnold for a quick shot that beat Boldt, went off the crossbar and in for a shorthanded marker to make it 3-1 Humboldt at the 8:31 mark.
As the game wound down, the Bruins were unable to sustain any constant pressure or find a way to chip into Humboldt’s two-goal lead. With the goalie pulled late for the extra attacker, Humboldt’s Drew Warkentine fired the puck into the yawning cage for the dagger in a 4-1 win over Estevan.
Grant Boldt (21/24) was solid in making his SJHL playoff debut for the Bruins, while Humboldt’s Rayce Ramsay (29/30) shut down Estevan’s highly-skilled offence.
The Bruins powerplay was shut down (0/3), while Humboldt (0/1) earned a shorthanded goal on special teams.
A raucous crowd of 1,481 fans created an amazing playoff atmosphere, and is expected to be duplicated on Saturday night. The Certified Energy Services 50/50 jackpot finished off at $13,125.
The Bruins will look to have a short memory as Game 2 goes Saturday night at 7:30 at Affinity Place. Tickets are available at the Box Office, which will open at approximately 6:30pm at Affinity Place.
Bryce Platt Scored The Lone Goal For The Bruins In Friday Night’s 4-1 Defeat To Humboldt. (Photo: Durr Photography)