BEST-OF-7 NOW TIED 1-1 HEADING UP TO HUMBOLDT
With another roaring home crowd behind them, the Power Dodge Estevan Bruins were able to hold off a late push by the Humboldt Broncos and even up their quarterfinal series in Game 2.
Jake Heerspink scored the go-ahead goal with 9:06 remaining and Jayden Davis sealed the deal into the empty net with 1:26 to play as the Bruins defeated the Broncos 4-2. The Best-of-7 series is now tied at 1-1 heading up to Humboldt for Games 3 & 4.
The Bruins needed a win on Saturday night to avoid going on the road down two games after dropping Game 1 on Friday night 4-1.
The Broncos built off their strong play the night before with a solid 1st period and opened the scoring late in the opening frame. Owen Guenter scored at the 16:22 mark to make it 1-0 Humboldt after 20 minutes.
But the Bruins would steal momentum back early in the 2nd period…just 7 seconds into the period to be exact.
Speedster Jayden Davis broke in off the opening faceoff and beat Rayce Ramsay for his 1st of the playoffs to make it 1-1.
It remained tied until halfway through the game when the Bruins would take their first lead of the night. Eddie Gallagher came out of a battle along the boards with the puck and fired it on net. Ramsay made the save, but Gallagher gathered up his own rebound and scored to put the Bruins up 2-1 after two periods of play. Gallagher’s linemates (dubbed ‘The Mosquitos’ by their teammates) Ryder Pierson and Isaiah Thomas assisted on the goal.
Humboldt would battle back and tie up the game once again at the 5:49 mark of the 3rd period. Mitch Zambon beat Grant Boldt with a shot to make it 2-2. The pace continued to pick up as the intensity between the two teams has grown into a fierce ‘Take No Prisoners’ mentality on the ice.
Then at the 10:54 mark, the Bruins retook the lead with the critical next goal. A shot by TJ Irey was stopped by Ramsay but the rebound kicked out to the side. Bryce Platt swung it towards the net where it found the stick of a pinching Jake Heerspink, who batted home his 1st of the playoffs to put the Bruins ahead 3-2.
While the Bruins wouldn’t sit back on their lead, Humboldt would kick it into an extra gear and look for the equalizer in the final minutes, but Boldt would continue to stand tall and hold the lead for the Bruins until the final minutes when Humboldt would pull the goalie for the extra attacker.
Humboldt called a timeout before an offensive-zone faceoff. However, Will Koop would win the draw cleanly and the Bruins would fire it off the glass and down the ice. Jayden Davis raced past the Broncos’ defence getting to the loose puck first and scored into the empty net for the 4-2 victory.
Grant Boldt (27/29) was outstanding in goal for the Bruins, earning his first SJHL playoff victory. Rayce Ramsay (36/39) once again was the backbone of for Humboldt, this time in a losing effort.
Neither team has been able to capitalize on the man advantage in the series yet. In Game 2, both Estevan (0/6) and Humboldt (0/3) have yet to score on the powerplay.
Another great crowd was on hand for Saturday night’s victory, with the attendance totalling 1,124. The Certified Energy Services 50/50 jackpot reached a total of $10,290.
The series now shifts to Humboldt for Game 3 on Monday and Game 4 on Tuesday, both games at 7:30pm. There will be a Game 5 and that will take place in Estevan on Friday, March 22nd at 7:30 inside Affinity Place.
Ticket details for Game 5 will be released early next week.
Recapping the other SJHL playoff series:
1) Nipawin (1-1) 8) Yorkton (3-0 NIP, 5-4 YOR)
2) Battlefords (2-0) 7) Flin Flon (3-0 BAT, 2-1 OT BAT)
4) Melfort (2-0) 5) Kindersley (2-1 MFT, 5-2 MFT)
Eddie Gallagher Leads The Fly-By After His 2nd Period Goal Gave The Bruins A 2-1 Lead. (Photo: Durr Photography)