The Estevan Bruins continued their dominance over the Melville Millionaires with their fourth win of the year over their Viterra Division rival, a 4-1 final on Tuesday night at Affinity Place.
It was however the closest game of the four played so far with Melville even getting their first lead over the Bruins this season early in the 1st period. Just 1:46 into the game, Melville forced a turnover behind the Bruins’ net which set up Charles-Thomas Larochelle in the slot who beat Boston Bilous with a shot to give the visitors a 1-0 lead. The Bruins were slow to start this game and continued to trail 1-0 after 20 minutes, but would not only tie the game but take the lead early in the 2nd period.
After a long shift of puck possession and cycling down low by the Bruins, a pretty pass ended up on the stick of captain Eric Houk who snapped his 3rd goal of the year past Melville’s Jared Thompson to tie the game at 1-1 at the 2:21 mark of the period. Eric Pearce and Cody Davis assisted on the goal. Then just a few minutes later at 4:58 off a faceoff win by Mikol Sartor, Kian Calder’s point shot was deflected perfectly by leading scorer Mark Rumsey for his 13th goal of the year to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead which they held for the rest of the period.
The Bruins would extend the lead at 7:28 of the 3rd period off a tremendous individual effort from Olivier Pouliot. Sartor would win a neutral zone draw to Pouliot who immediately burst down the wing. Pouliot dangled around the Melville defender at the blueline, went in alone on Thompson, and beat him high glove-side for Pouliot’s 8th of the season which gave the Bruins a 3-1 lead. Melville would earn a few chances late to try and claw back, but Houk would seal the game with an empty-netter at the 18:48 mark for his 2nd goal of the game and 4th of the season to round out the scoring in a 4-1 victory for Estevan.
Boston Bilous (20/21) was solid early for the Bruins with the team’s slow start and earned his 10th win of the season in net. Melville’s Jared Thompson (48/51) was arguably the best player for either team in the game as he made a number of great saves, but ultimately was tagged with the loss.
It was a quiet night for the officials as only a few penalties were called in the game, with neither Estevan (0/1) or Melville (0/2) scoring on the powerplay. It was only the second time all season that the Bruins did not score either a powerplay or a shorthanded goal in a game.
The Bruins (13-4-0-1) will finish off the week with a home-and-home weekend series against the Weyburn Red Wings (5-9-3-0) with the first game being played on Friday night at 7:30pm from Affinity Place in Estevan.