THE BRUINS’ HOLD OFF A 2ND PERIOD PUSH FROM MELVILLE TO SWEEP OPENING WEEKEND.
The Power Dodge Estevan Bruins’ scoring punch, and actual punches, were on display in front of the hometown fans for the first time this season on Saturday night in the 2018/19 home opener.
After a 5-4 road victory to start the season on Friday night in Melville, the Bruins’ held off a 2nd period push from the Millionaires and added an empty netter for a 7-4 victory to sweep the opening weekend home-and-home series.
It would only take 57 seconds for Bruins’ fans to sing along to ‘Shout’ once again as Mike McChesney found the back of the net to give Estevan the early lead. They would extend it to 2-0 on the next shift as Johnny Witzke scored his first goal of the year at the 1:41 mark.
New 20-year-old Bruin forward Turner Ripplinger would be sent in on a breakaway and chased Melville’s starting goaltender Colby Entz from the net with his first goal of the season to make it 3-0 just 7:24 into the game.
That remained the score heading into the intermission, but not before a pair of donnybrooks broke out.
At the 16:48 mark, Austin King-Cunningham and Dayton Heino dropped the mitts each landing a couple of hard punches. But before their fight was finished, Jake Heerspink and Ryan Heino squared off at centre ice and roused an evener louder cheer from the crowd. All players were ejected from the game, and the tussles left the Bruins’ with only four defencemen for the rest of the game.
The Millionaires would respond fast and furious in the 2nd period, scoring four unanswered goals (Ryan Butler (2), Aiden Steinke, Jaden Shewchuk) in the first 11:50 of the middle frame to suddenly take a 4-3 lead over Estevan.
But the Bruins’ would responded strongly to their first test of adversity this season. Just a minute after Melville took the lead, TJ Irey would tie the game back up at 4-4 with his second goal in as many nights. Only two minutes later, George Cathers would wait out the goaltender and backhand in his second of the season to regain the lead for the Bruins at 5-4 with 14:59 gone in the period. Witzke would add his second goal of the night at the 17:35 mark to put Estevan up 6-4 after two high-scoring periods.
The Bruins’ would shut down any comeback attempts in the 3rd period, allowing only four shots against in the final frame. Ripplinger would add an empty netter for his second of the night with only a minute remaining to make the final 7-4 for the Bruins.
Starting goaltender Jake Anthony stopped 22 of 26 shots for his second win of the season. Estevan outshot Melville 29-26 for the night. The Bruins’ shut down Melville’s powerplay as they went 0/4, while Estevan was 1/7 on the man advantage.
The Bruins’ will now get ready to host another division rival, the Yorkton Terriers, at 7:00pm on Tuesday night in Estevan. Yorkton lost 6-4 in Weyburn on Friday night to open their season.
Fans will want to get to the game early! The first 500 fans through the doors will receive a FREE Bruins’ Calendar! And there will be Tim Horton’s Smile Cookies available for $1 purchase at the door. All proceeds will go to the Estevan Family Resource Centre as part of Smile Cookie Week at both Tim Horton’s locations in Estevan.
Bruins’ Scoring Leaders on Saturday
Johnny Witzke (2G, 2A)
TJ Irey (1G, 3A)
Turner Ripplinger (2G, 1A)
Mike McChesney (1G, 1A)
Isaiah Thomas (2A)
Jack Michell (2A)
George Cathers (1G)
Jayden Davis (1A)
George Cathers’ 2nd Period Goal Ended Up As The Game-Winner On Saturday.