BRONCOS NOW LEAD BEST-OF-7 SERIES (2-1); GAME 4 TUESDAY
The Power Dodge Esetvan Bruins were unable to take their first series lead against the Humboldt Broncos in their SJHL quarterfinal matchup on Monday night.
The Bruins led 3-2 early in the 2nd period, but Humboldt would score the next four goals unanswered as the hometown Broncos defeated the Bruins 6-3 in Game 3 at the Elgar Petersen Arena.
After the two teams split the first two games in Estevan (4-1 HUM, 4-2 EST) the series shifted to Humboldt for Games 3 & 4, in what turned out to be a loud and boisterous crowd for the Broncos first playoff game since last April.
The Bruins would open the scoring however, during an early powerplay opportunity. After a scramble in front of Rayce Ramsay, Bruins defenceman Devan Harrison fired a shot from the point that found it’s way through the traffic and into the net for Harrison’s first SJHL playoff goal to make it 1-0 just 2:51 into action. Johnny Witzke and Michael McChesney each earned an assist on the goal, the first point of the series for both.
Less than five minutes later at 7:26, Humboldt would pull even on a powerplay of their own as defenceman Josh Patrician fired his 2nd of the series past Bruins goaltender Grant Boldt to make it 1-1.
The Broncos would take the lead at the 12:47 mark as Mitch Zambon would knock down a cross-ice pass in the Bruins zone and break in all alone on Boldt, deking around him and making it 2-1 with his 2nd goal of the series.
The Bruins would pull the game to even before the intermission. At the 16:39 mark, TJ Irey would step out of the penalty box and receive a perfect pass from Tanner Manz to break in all alone on Ramsay. Irey deked to his backhand scored his 1st goal of the series to make it 2-2 after 20 minutes. Harrison also assisted on the goal.
Thanks to one late Humboldt penalty at the end of the 1st period and another early in the 2nd period, the Bruins would go to a 5-on-3 powerplay early in the middle frame and take the lead. After some nice puck movement Turner Ripplinger set up a perfect one-time pass to Jake Heerspink. The Bruins captain blasted a shot off the post and into the net for his 2nd goal of the series to make it 3-2 Estevan just 1:36 into the period.
However, Humboldt would once again strike back just a few minutes later to take the lead with two goals in 29 seconds. At 5:01, Michael Clarke scored his 1st of the series to even the score at 3-3. Then at 5:30 after a Bruins turnover, Bryson Cecconi scored his 2nd of the series to give Humboldt a 4-3 lead.
The Broncos would extend their lead to 5-3 in the final seconds of the 2nd period, as Owen Guenter shot the puck off the post and off Boldt’s back into the net for his 2nd of the series to give Humboldt a two-goal lead entering the final period.
The Bruins would be unable to cut into the deficit early in the 3rd period and at the 7:39 mark, Humboldt would score again to double their lead over Estevan. After Ramsay stopped a great deflection by Tanner Manz at one end of the rink, the Broncos went back the other way and Logan Foster scored his 1st of the series to make it 6-3.
The Bruins would pull their goalie for the extra attacker with more than three minutes to play in a desperation attempt to force overtime. But they would be unable to beat Ramsay and the final score would be 6-3 for Humboldt.
Grant Boldt (24/30) would be tagged with the loss in net for the Bruins, while Rayce Ramsay (40/43) got the win for Humboldt. Estevan has outshot Humboldt in each game of the series so far.
Both teams got their first goals on the man advantage of the series in Game 3, with the Bruins going (2/5) and the Broncos (1/4).
Humboldt now has a two-games-to-one (2-1) lead in the Best-of-7 series. In each game so far, the team that has scored the first goal has lost the game.
The Bruins will look to pull the series back to even and regain home-ice advantage in Game 4 on Tuesday night in Humboldt. Game time is 7:30pm.
There will be a Game 5 on Friday night back at Affinity Place in Estevan. Tickets are currently on sale in the Bruins office throughout the week.
TJ Irey and Logan Foster Take A Faceoff In The 1st Period Of Monday Night’s Game 3, Played At The Elgar Petersen Arena In Humboldt.