CODY DAVIS AND TJ IREY EACH SCORE TWICE IN 1ST PERIOD EXPLOSION
The Power Dodge Estevan Bruins have squared up their Best-of-7 SJHL Semi-Final with the Melfort Mustangs after back-to-back wins in front of two roaring home crowds at Affinity Place.
Cody Davis and TJ Irey each scored twice in the 1st period with Grant Boldt shutting the door in the 3rd period en route to a 4-2 win in Game 4 on Wednesday night. Paired with Tuesday’s 3-2 victory, the Bruins have now evened up the series at two games a piece with the Mustangs.
The Bruins opened the scoring for the fourth straight game and the goals would come fast and furious against Shawn Parkinson, making his first start of the series for Melfort.
Just 3:44 into the game, the Bruins fourth line would get the massive crowd out of their seats. Isaiah Thomas picked off a pass in the offensive zone, made a sweet move around his defender and tried to slide the puck past Parkinson. Though Parkinson made the initial save, 16-year-old rookie Cody Davis lifted the rebound into the net for his 1st SJHL playoff goal to make it 1-0 for the Bruins.
Davis wouldn’t be done there. At the 9:01 mark, a great cycle down low led to Davis receiving a pass in the slot and ripping a shot blocker-side to give the Bruins a 2-0 lead. Twin brothers Tyson and Tanner Manz assisted on the goal.
The onslaught continued on the very next shift, as a great pass from behind the net from Turner Ripplinger found TJ Irey who buried his 2nd goal of the postseason to make it 3-0 at 9:39. Then less than four minutes later, Parkinson turned the puck over behind the net right to Irey who put the gift in the net for his second of the period lifting the Bruins to a massive 4-0 advantage early in Game 4.
Parkinson would remain in the game however, as the Mustangs other goaltender Noah Giesbrecht was not dressed due to illness. Emergency backup, and Estevan-born, Morgan Wanner was the backup to Parkinson in Game 4.
Melfort would get back in the game before the intermission, as after Boldt made a flurry of saves Mustangs defenceman Jake Hobson scored to make it 4-1 after 20 minutes.
There would be no more scoring until past the midway point of the game when Melfort would close the gap to 4-2, but not without controversy.
Bruins forward Will Koop was carrying the puck into the neutral zone when Melfort’s Kyle Schneider attempted to check him off the puck. Koop avoided the hit, but Schneider stuck out his leg for a blatant knee-on-knee collision with Koop. No penalty was called on the play. The impact caused Koop to stay on his hands and knees and while he recovered and very slowly made his way to the Bruins bench, play continued.
Schneider then received a pass, carried the puck through the neutral zone as Koop struggled off the ice, dished off a pass to Colin Schmidt who beat Grant Boldt for the 4-2 goal at the 12:08 mark of the 2nd period. The crowd at Affinity Place collectively booed with frustration at the missed call and potential game-changing play.
It remained 4-2 heading into the 3rd period with Koop able to gut it out and return to action.
The Bruins were able to earn a 5-on-3 powerplay five minutes into the 3rd period, with Melfort taking separate minor penalties at the same time. However, the Mustangs penalty kill limited Estevan’s powerplay to minimal chances on the advantage and killed off both penalties.
The Mustangs would themselves go on a 5-on-3 powerplay just minutes later, but Boldt and the Bruins penalty kill would hold strong and keep the score at 4-2 with about eight minutes to play.
Melfort would pull the goalie with less than two minutes to go looking to score twice and force overtime. But Boldt would stop any threats sent his way and the Bruins would hold on to the 4-2 victory.
Grant Boldt (19/21) was the Bruins’ first star in the game, making a number of massive saves on high-quality scoring chances in the 2nd and 3rd periods. Shawn Parkinson (14/18) settled in after a horrendous 1st period, but was tagged with the loss.
Both powerplays were shut out in Game 4, with each team going (0/3).
Another outstanding crowd of 1,955 fans filled Affinity Place cheering on the Bruins to their sixth straight win at home. The Certified Energy Services 50/50 jackpot exceeded $20,000 for the second consecutive night.
The series shifts back up to Melfort for Game 5 on Friday night at 7:30pm. The Bruins are looking to become the first road team to win a game this series and put themselves in a position to win the series in front of their home crowd in Estevan on Sunday in Game 6.
Cody Davis (#9) Celebrates One Of His Two 1st Period Goals In Game 4. (Photo: Durr Photography)