The Power Dodge Estevan Bruins had a shorthanded roster on Tuesday night, and were unable to find the equalizer at the end of the game falling 3-2 to the Notre Dame Hounds at Affinity Place.
The loss ends the Bruins 5-game winning streak, and the team’s franchise-record 10-game home-winning streak in Affinity Place. The previous record for consecutive wins at Affinity Place was five wins, set multiple times.
Unavailable for Tuesday night’s game were forward TJ Irey (injury), defenceman Austin King-Cunningham (1-game suspension) and goaltenders Grant Boldt and Kadin Kilpatrick (undisclosed).
As a result, Tyler Szturm would be called up from the Pilot Butte Storm (Junior B) to start his first career SJHL game and have 17-year-old Morgan Wanner (Estevan Midget AA Bruins) as his backup.
The Bruins would open the scoring at 6:48 of the first period on the powerplay with Turner Ripplinger finding the rebound near the crease and potting his 26th of the season to make it 1-0. Bryce Platt (extending his point streak to 12 games) and Aigne McGeady-Bruce assisted on the goal.
Both Szturm and former Bruins goaltender Matt Lukacs (traded to Notre Dame on January 10th) stood tall in net keeping the score at 1-0 until the 14:02 mark of the 2nd period. That’s when Notre Dame’s Kyle Robinson would even the score at 1-1 with a perfect shot. But the Bruins would retake their lead shortly thereafter.
The Bruins powerplay stayed hot as Michael McChesney fired in his team-leading 30th goal of the season at 16:13 to make it 2-1 Estevan after two periods of play. Devan Harrison and Will Koop assisted on McChesney’s goal, as the marker ties a career high in goals for McChensey.
However, the Hounds would fight there way back into the game early in the 3rd period as at the 1:38 mark as Marshall Wilton tied the game at 2-2. Then, after a questionable penalty call on Tristyn Deroose resulted in a 5-minute major for a blow-to-the-head, Notre Dame’s Jakob Breault scored on the ensuing powerplay to put the Hounds ahead 3-2 just 4:29 into the final frame.
The Bruins were unable to beat Lukacs in the rest of the game and the Bruins win streak was snapped with the 3-2 defeat.
Szturm (19/22) was solid in his SJHL starting debut for the Bruins, while Lukacs (29/31) earned the win for Notre Dame.
The Bruins finished (2/7) on the powerplay, while Notre Dame went (1/3) on the man advantage.
A great Tuesday night crowd of 1,031 fans were in Affinity Place for the game, with the Certified Energy Services 50/50 jackpot finished at $3,315.
The Bruins remain 8 points ahead of the Yorkton Terriers in the Viterra Division, as Yorkton was idle on Tuesday night. The Terriers have three games in hand on Estevan and play the La Ronge Ice Wolves on Wednesday night.
Estevan has only three games remaining in the regular season. A Saturday night tilt against the Battlefords North Stars on February 23rd and then a season-ending home-and-home series against the Weyburn Red Wings on March 1st (in Weyburn) and March 2nd (in Estevan).
Turner Ripplinger (1G) Scored His 26th Goal Of The Season On Tuesday Night. (Photo: Durr Photography)