Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League

Bruins Edged 3-2 in Shootout By La Ronge

Xavier Cannon stopped all three Bruins' attempts, including Mikol Sartor's, in the 3-2 shootout. PHOTO - Billy Durr Photography

The Estevan Bruins were unable to pick up the extra point at home on Thursday night, falling 3-2 in a shootout to the La Ronge Ice Wolves.

It was a rough and tumble battle between the two teams, with both teams finishing checks hard and battling in front of the net. Late in the 1st period after a big collision behind the net, defenceman Matt Millette and La Ronge forward Holden Knights dropped the gloves in a spirited fight. There would be no scoring in the 1st period and it remained scoreless until six minutes into the 2nd period.

That’s when La Ronge struck for two quick goals, with Gavin Mattey putting home a rebound at 6:08 and Anthony Oviedo scoring at 7:09 to put the Ice Wolves ahead 2-0. The Bruins got one goal back later in the period, as Kian Calder’s point shot found the back of the net at the 13:29 mark for his first as a Bruin to make it 2-1. Assisting on the goal were Billy Sowa and Mark Rumsey.

Before the end of the period, after another big collision this time in the neutral zone, the gloves dropped again as Prescot Senger and La Ronge’s Conrad Mitchell got into a quick bout. It remained 2-1 for La Ronge after 40 minutes.

There was plenty of back-and-forth play in the 3rd period but the Bruins were unable to find the equalizer until the dying minutes of the game. With the goalie pulled for the extra attacker, the Bruins banged away at a loose puck in front of the net and eventually it would be Olivier Pouliot firing a quick shot past Xavier Cannon to tie the game at 2-2 with only 1:15 left in the game. Keagon Little and Rumsey assisted on Pouliot’s 3rd of the season that forced overtime.

Each team had chances early in overtime but both Cannon and Boston Bilous shut the door. The Bruins were called for Too Many Men late in the overtime frame and had to kill off a 4-on-3 powerplay to eventually force a shootout.

In the shootout, La Ronge shot first as Taylor Webb was stopped by Bilous. Mikol Sartor shot first for Estevan but his deke was stopped by Cannon. Brandon Della Paolera shot next for La Ronge and was also stopped by Bilous. Griffin Asham-Moroz shot for the Bruins and his quick shot was blockered away by Cannon. Then Nolan Doell shot for La Ronge and his backhander beat Bilous. That meant Caelan Fitzpatrick had to score to extend the shootout, but the puck rolled on his shot attempt which went high and wide, and the Ice Wolves celebrated a 3-2 win over the Bruins.

Boston Bilous (31/33) was great in net once again, but was tagged with the loss. Xavier Cannon (32/34) earned the win for La Ronge. Neither team was successful on special teams, with the Bruins (0/3) and La Ronge (0/5).

The Bruins (6-3-0-1) will now hit the road for four consecutive games, beginning this Saturday, Oct. 23rd at 7pm in Melville (1-4-4-0) against the Millionaires. This is a makeup game from October 1st.

Olivier Pouliot’s tying goal with 1:15 remaining. PHOTO – Billy Durr Photography