Starting goaltender Cam Hrdlicka was outstanding in net for the Estevan Bruins in both games against the Flin Flon Bombers this past weekend. Unfortunately, the offence wasn’t able to provide much support as the Bruins dropped both games up north.
The Bruins started the weekend with a burst of energy, outshooting the Bombers 6-0 early in the 1st period on Friday night. But the Bombers held the fort and then opened the scoring with a powerplay goal at 11:22, then added another powerplay goal at 17:24 to lead the Bruins 2-0 after the opening frame.
The Bruins would get on the board at the 4:22 mark of the 2nd period as Jag Phangura found a loose puck near the net-front and backhanded home his 11th of the season to cut the deficit to 2-1. Keagon Little and Ilia Chmelevski assisted, as Chmelevski extended his point streak to 6 games.
The score remained 2-1 entering the 3rd period as the Bruins kept pushing for the equalizer. However, special teams would be the story of this game and not in the Bruins’ favour.
The Bombers took advantage of a neutral zone turnover on a Bruins’ powerplay and though Cam Hrdlicka stopped the initial shot, the puck bounced in off a Bruins’ skate and into the net as the shorthanded goal made it 3-1 Bombers at the 3:03 mark.
The Bruins were unable to score the next goal and at the 13:12 mark, Flin Flon scored another powerplay goal to go up 4-1. The Bombers would score into the empty net, while shorthanded, at 17:28 and close out the scoring in a 5-1 final.
Cam Hrdlicka (46/50) was outstanding in net for Estevan despite being tagged with the loss, while Harmon Laser-Hume (30/31) earned the win.
The Bruins went (0/5) on the powerplay and gave up 2 shorthanded goals, while Flin Flon went (3/5) on the man advantage.
The Bruins started strongly for the second consecutive night, and this time they would be able to score the opening goal.
Just seconds into a powerplay, Keagon Little would set up Jag Phangura in front as Phangura scored his second goal of the weekend and 12th of the season at the 13:27 mark. Cody Davis also assisted on the goal, his first point since returning from missing 17 games with a leg injury suffered on November 12th.
The Bruins carried the 1-0 lead into the 2nd period, and despite a few glorious chances they were unable to add to their lead. Then at the 13:18 mark, Flin Flon capitalized on a powerplay of their own to tie the game at 1-1. The Bombers would score again at the 19:08 mark off a turnover behind the Bruins’ net to make it 2-1 after the 2nd period.
The Bombers kept their foot on the gas in the 3rd period, and ended up throwing 22 shots on Hrdlicka in the final frame. Hrdlicka played strong and gave his team every chance to tie the game, however it would be Flin Flon scoring an insurance marker at the 14:05 mark to put the Bombers up 3-1. That wound up as the final score, with the Bruins unable to score more than one goal for the third straight game.
As mentioned, Cam Hrdlicka was steller in the game finishing with 53 saves but getting the loss. In total, Hrdlicka had a .934 SV% (99/106) in the two losses. For Flin Flon, Harmon Laser-Hume (37/38) earned the win once again.
The Bruins finished (1/7) on the powerplay, while Flin Flon went (1/9) on the man advantage.
The Bruins will now have an extended break and won’t play again until Friday, Feb. 10th and Saturday, Feb. 11th when they host Nipawin and Flin Flon at Affinity Place.
Additionally, the league will take a few days off as several players and coaches head to Winnipeg for the SJHL-MJHL Showcase on Jan. 31st & Feb. 1st. Kade Runke, Aleksa Babic, and Jag Phangura will represent the Bruins at the event.