After dropping their first two games of the 2021/22 season at the SJHL Showcase earlier in the week, the Estevan Bruins got back in the win column with a big Friday night 5-1 win at home in Estevan over the Weyburn Red Wings.
The game would start off slow for the Bruins, as they were unable to register a shot on goal until about midway through the period. Weyburn would also take an early lead as Braden Birnie went end-to-end and fired a shot past Boston Bilous to make it 1-0. The Bruins would end up outshooting Weyburn 11-8 in the 1st period, but it remained 1-0 until the 2nd period when the Bruins began to take over the game.
After multiple games with high-quality scoring chances, Oliver Pouliot would finally earn his first goal as a Bruin just 1:42 into the middle frame. Eric Houk would take the puck behind the net then center it out front and Pouliot found it through a maze of legs and put the puck past Joseph Young to make it 1-1. Cody Davis also assisted on the goal.
Then at the 6:15 mark in the dying seconds of a powerplay, Mark Rumsey fired a cross-ice pass to defenceman Alex Von Sprecken who wound up and blasted a shot past Young for his first goal of the year to give the Bruins’ a 2-1 lead. Mikol Sartor also assisted on the powerplay marker.
The powerplay would strike again at the 14:26 mark of the 2nd period with an early season candidate for SJHL goal of the year. Sartor had the puck at the top of the circle and sent a pass down to the side of the net for Keagon Little. Little would smoothly corral the puck and all-in-one-motion, put the puck from the goal line between his legs and lifted the puck beautifully over Young’s glove to put the Bruins ahead 3-1 and getting the home crowd out of their seats. Von Sprecken would also draw an assist on Little’s first career SJHL goal.
The Bruins would add one more goal to the onslaught before the end of the 2nd period as Griffin Asham-Moroz received a pass with speed in the neutral zone, went around his defender, and snuck a quick shot through the five-hole to make it a 4-1 lead for the Bruins after 40 minutes. Caelan Fitzpatrick and Kade Runke assisted on the goal.
The red-hot powerplay would add one more goal midway through the 3rd period as another nice passing play in the neutral zone sent Asham-Moroz towards the net with speed, where he would backhand home his 4th of the season to increase the lead to 5-1 for the Bruins. Once again, Runke and Fitzpatrick assisted on the goal.
There would be a few more fireworks before the end of the game as Bruins’ defenceman Matt Millette and Weyburn forward Davis Chorney would emerge from a scrum in the corner and drop the gloves with both players earning a fighting major. That penalty to Millette would be the only one penalty in the game for Estevan. Bilous would continue to shut the door for the rest of the game and the Bruins’ skated off with a 5-1 victory.
Bilous (21/22) wasn’t tested much but was very solid in earning the win for the Bruins, while Young (37/42) was tagged with the loss for Weyburn. The Bruins powerplay was outstanding, going (3/6) in the game while Weyburn (0/0) did not earn a powerplay opportunity.
The win kicked off a 5-game homestand for the Bruins as they prepare for two home games next weekend against a pair of northern teams from the Sherwood division. The league-leading Melfort Mustangs (7-1-0-1) come to Estevan on Friday, Oct. 15th while the Nipawin Hawks (5-2-0-0) are in town on Saturday, Oct. 16th, with both games starting at 7:30pm.