4TH STRAIGHT WIN AS BRUINS EYE VITERRA DIVISION CROWN
The Power Dodge Estevan Bruins earned their fourth straight win and 11th victory in the last 12 games on Friday night, edging out the Flin Flon Bombers 4-3 at Affinity Place.
The Bruins were searching for their first win against Flin Flon this season in the fourth and final meeting of the regular season, and got on the board first.
After taking a charge from Flin Flon’s Isaac Jackson to put the Bruins on the powerplay, Will Koop would be the one to open the scoring banging home a rebound for his 10th of the season and 4th goal in the last three games to make it 1-0 at the 2:23 mark. Tristyn Deroose and Michael McChesney assisted on the play.
However just 53 seconds later, former Bruin defenceman Jack Michell would score in his return to Estevan after being traded at the January 10th deadline to make it 1-1 just 3:16 into the game.
It remained tied at 1-1 heading into the 2nd period when the Bruins regained their lead. Eddie Gallagher backhanded home his 6th of the year to make it 2-1 Bruins at the 3:39 mark. Jake Heerspink and Isaiah Thomas assisted on the goal.
The back-and-forth game continued as Flin Flon’s Billy Klymchuk scored at the 7:32 mark to even the score at 2-2. However just 51 seconds later, the Bruins took back the lead…but paid a price to do so.
While on a powerplay, TJ Irey started the rush from the Bruins zone and took a knee-on-knee hit from Caleb Moretz. Irey’s pass went to Heerspink and he carried the puck into the offensive zone during the delayed penalty call. Heerspink passed to Bryce Platt who cut across the slot and snapped home his 19th of the season to put the Bruins up 3-2 at the 8:23 mark.
Irey earned an assist on the play, but was helped off the ice and did not return. The official mistakenly issued a 5-minute major penalty for kneeing to Flin Flon’s Caleb Franklin, instead of Moretz. Irey is expected to miss Saturday night’s game against Weyburn and is day-to-day, though the injury is not expected to be season-ending.
Before the end of the period, Flin Flon would tie the game up for the third time as Bomber captain Nate Hooper had a pass go off his skate and into the net on the powerplay to make it 3-3 at the 16:20 mark.
The 3rd period was a great battle between two teams fighting for playoff positioning, and halfway through the final frame at the 10:49 mark it would be the Bruins taking their fourth lead of the night.
Just as the powerplay expired, Platt’s cross-crease attempted pass bounced off a Flin Flon defender and into the net to give Estevan a 4-3 lead with Platt’s 20th goal of the season. Platt now has a 10-game point streak (7G, 8A), the longest of the year for the Bruins.
The Bombers SJHL-leading offence bombarded the Bruins net in the final nine minutes of the game. However Grant Boldt, making his first start since January 26th, made some key saves and didn’t allow any second chance opportunities. The Bruins defence also shut down Flin Flon’s forwards and despite a flurry around the net with an extra attacker on the ice late, Estevan would skate off with a huge 4-3 victory on home ice.
Boldt (26/29) was outstanding in his return to the crease, earning his 14th victory of the season. Jacob Delorme (26/30) was tagged with the loss for Flin Flon.
The Bruins special teams continued to play strong as Estevan went (2/6) on the powerplay and held Flin Flon’s powerplay to (1/4). In the month of February, the Bruins have scored at least one powerplay goal in each game going (11/31, 35.5%). Just as strong has been the penalty kill, holding the opposition to (4/27, 15%).
The Bruins will host the Weyburn Red Wings on Saturday night in the 8th meeting of the season between the Highway 39 rivals. Entering play, Estevan (29-21-2-1) has an 8-point lead on the Yorkton Terriers (26-24-1) for the Viterra division titles with only a handful of games remaining in the regular season.
The Bruins And Bombers Faceoff Late In The 3rd Period Of Friday Night’s 4-3 Win For Estevan.