The Estevan Bruins and Humboldt Broncos squared off in a weekend home-and-home series, a highly anticipated matchup between two clubs expected to make some noise in the SJHL this season.
They were two very different games and by the end of Saturday night, each team skated off with a win with the road team victorious in both games.
FRIDAY – Bruins Win 3-2 in Humboldt
Humboldt jumped out to a 1-0 lead after the 1st period, scoring on a 4-on-3 powerplay. The Bruins would strike back and tie the game 2-2 after the middle frame with goals from Cole Fonstad and Eric Pearce, with the Broncos scoring in between the two Bruins markers.
Early in the 3rd period, 20-year-old forward Tanner Mortenson dropped the gloves in his Bruins’ debut with Humboldt’s Carson Schultz in a spirited fight. Then with about 5:00 remaining, the Bruins broke the deadlock as Eddie Gallagher set up Fonstad for his second of the game to give the Bruins a 3-2 lead which they would hold onto as time wound down. Emerik Demers (30/32) was outstanding in net, earning his second win of the season.
SATURDAY – Humboldt edges the Bruins 7-6 in OT
On Saturday night, the goal lights almost burnt out at both ends of the rink. The referee’s whistle’s got a workout too as it seemed the two teams couldn’t go a shift without the official’s looking for a penalty to be called. As a result, both Humboldt and Estevan’s special teams were featured heavily in a back-and-forth affair.
The Bruins would open the scoring with consecutive shorthanded goals less than 4 minutes apart, the first scored by Eddie Gallagher and the next by newly-named Captain Austin King-Cunningham. However, the Broncos bounced back with three straight goals before the end of the 1st period, two of which came on the powerplay, as Humboldt led 3-2 after 20 minutes.
Kade McMillen would tie the game early in the 2nd period before Humboldt scored another powerplay goal to retake the lead 4-3. Cole Fonstad would even it up again at 4-4 with a jaw-dropping highlight reel goal going end-to-end, toe dragging around the defender before chipping the puck over the goaltender’s glove. After Humboldt took the lead again, Gallagher scored his 2nd of the game on the powerplay to tie it up at 5-5. However, the Broncos scored yet again to make it 6-5 Humboldt after two periods.
Emerik Demers would replace starter Eric Clark in goal for the Bruins to start the 3rd period. The Bruins would tie the game up early in the 3rd period as Eric Pearce scored on the powerplay to make it 6-6. Despite numerous scoring chances for each team the rest of the period, it would remain tied at 6-6 after regulation forcing the first overtime game of the season for Estevan. Unfortunately just 38 seconds into overtime, Tristan Shewchuk would score on a rebound to give Humboldt a 7-6 victory over the Bruins.
The Bruins earned 3 out of a possible 4 points on the weekend and improved their record to 2-1-1-0. Eddie Gallagher led the way offensively with six points (2G, 4A) in the last two games, and leads the Bruins with 8 points (3G, 5A) in 4 games this season putting him near the top of the SJHL scoring race.
The Bruins will next face the Weyburn Red Wings (0-2-1) in a weekend home-and-home series, Friday, November 20th in Weyburn and Saturday, November 21st in Estevan.