SERIES SHIFTS TO ESTEVAN FOR GAME 3 & 4
The Power Dodge Estevan Bruins will be happy to head back to Estevan and hit the reset button on their SJHL Semi-Final with the Melfort Mustangs after dropping both games on the road to start the series.
The Mustangs scored twice in the first ten minutes of the 3rd period to break a 1-1 tie and the Bruins offence could not get the team back into the game in a 3-1 loss to Melfort in Game 2 on Saturday night. The Mustangs now lead the Best-of-7 (2-0) after also winning 6-2 on Friday night as the series shifts to Estevan for Game 3 & 4.
While the majority of Game 1 was more of a ‘feeling-out’ process for both teams, the animosity certainly reached a new level in Game 2 as plenty of tough, rough and hard-hitting plays throughout the game.
While the 1st period would remain scoreless, there was no shortage of checking as both team looked to gain a physical advantage over their opponent.
The Bruins would break the deadlock at 5:13 of the 2nd period by scoring the opening goal for the second straight game. Will Koop would win the offensive zone faceoff which Michael McChesney tipped to Jayden Davis. The winger would cut to the wall, give himself some separation, cut towards the slot and roof a beautiful backhander past Melfort’s Noah Giesbrecht to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead.
However, that lead would last all of 17 seconds as on the very next shift, a Mustangs’ shot from the point would deflect off forward Tanner Zentner and past Bruins’ netminder Grant Boldt to even the game at 1-1 at the 5:30 mark of the 2nd period.
Before the intermission, the Bruins would lose one of their main offensive catalysts for the rest of the game. After a collision in the corner of the Melfort defensive zone with both forwards McChesney and Bryce Platt in the area, Mustangs’ defenceman Alex Rondeau would fall to the ice. No penalty was initially called on the play, but a scrum gathered in the corner follow the incident.
With Platt sitting in the penalty box, the officials discussed the situation and came to the conclusion that Platt would receive a 5-minute major for Checking-From-Behind and a Game Misconduct. The only penalty Melfort received on the play would be a 2-minute minor for roughing and 10-minute misconduct to depth forward Braeden Young.
As the 3rd period began, Melfort would have a 3-minute powerplay once their penalty expired. While the Bruins penalty kill would keep the Mustangs offence at bay, Melfort would take the lead just seconds after the Bruins got back to even strength.
A stretch pass through the neutral zone would find Mustangs’ captain Carson Albrecht who sped down the wing with the puck, cut towards the slot and fire a shot past Boldt’s glove to give Melfort a 2-1 lead at the 3:39 mark of the 3rd period.
Less than five minutes later at the 8:21 mark, Melfort would extend their lead to 3-1 as on a delayed penalty call to Estevan, a shot from the point would be deflected by 50-goal scorer Justin Ball.
Then at the 13:17 mark, a battle in front of the Bruins net would result in defenceman Austin King-Cunningham being sent to the dressing room for a 2-minute-minor for checking-from-behind and a 10-minute misconduct.
Despite a few late opportunities for the Bruins to get back in the game, including the last three minutes played with the goalie pulled for the extra attacker, the offence could not solve Giesbrecht and Melfort would skate to the 3-1 victory.
Grant Boldt (21/24) was tagged with the loss in net for the Bruins while Noah Giesbrecht (29/30) was solid for Melfort a named the game’s 1st star.
The Bruins (0/1) were shut down on their lone powerplay opportunity. The Bruins penalty kill was outstanding on the night, having successfully killed off all six (0/6) Melfort man advantages.
A crowd of 1,407 were in attendance at the Northern Lights Palace for Game 2 as the two teams now head to Estevan for the next two games of the series.
Game 3 goes on Tuesday, April 2nd at 7:30pm at Affinity Place with the crowd anticipated to exceed 2,000 fans, as the Bruins will look for a boost from their fantastic supporters to get back in the series on home ice.
Tanner Manz (#15) Battles For A Faceoff Win During The 3rd Period On Saturday Night. (Photo: Durr Photography)