ELIMINATION GAME TO BE PLAYED AT 7:30PM TUESDAY AT AFFINITY PLACE
There will be a winner-take-all Game 7 between the Power Dodge Estevan Bruins and Humboldt Broncos.
Bryce Platt scored into the empty net with 42 seconds remaining and Grant Boldt made 34 saves in the Bruins 4-1 road victory over Humboldt in Game 6. The win bring the Best-of-7 series even at (3-3) with the 7th and deciding game scheduled for 7:30 on Tuesday night at Affinity Place in Estevan.
Around 150 Bruins fans made the trek to the Elgar Petersen Arena to cheer on their team, looking to build off a 3-2 double-overtime victory in Game 5 just two nights earlier.
Estevan came out of the gates flying and controlled the play in the opening period, breaking through with the first two goals of the game to quiet a large crowd in Humboldt.
Great work below the goal line by the Bruins forwards resulted in Tyson Manz finding defenceman Johnny Witzke pinching in from the point. Witzke fired a shot five-hole through Rayce Ramsay for his second goal of the series to put Estevan ahead 1-0 just 2:22 into the game. Tanner Manz, who scored the overtime winner in Game 5, also assisted on the goal.
Just over three minutes later at the 5:41 mark, Will Koop won the offensive zone faceoff to Jayden Davis. Davis fed it to Jake Heerspink at the point for a quick shot on net that Koop deflected neatly past Ramsay for his first goal of the series to give the Bruins a 2-0 lead.
Humboldt pushed hard to get back in the game before the intermission and, after back-to-back 4:00 double-minors, had an extended 5-on-3 opportunity. But the Bruins penalty kill and Grant Boldt were able to escape the 1st period still ahead 2-0.
The Broncos remained on the 5-on-3 to start the 2nd period, but were unable to muster up a shot on either man advantage with the Bruins successfully killing off both penalties.
Humboldt would go back on the powerplay later in the period after a “tripping” penalty drawn by Brayden Camrud. However, it would be the Bruins taking advantage of the special teams opportunity.
With the puck in Estevan’s end, Turner Ripplinger chipped a breakout pass to Jayden Davis who sped up the wing. Defenceman Devan Harrison jumped up into the play to create a 2-on-1 and, after Davis patiently outwaited the defender and fed a pass over, Harrison buried his second goal of the series to put Estevan up 3-0 at the 12:10 mark of the middle frame.
That would remain the score heading into the final period as Boldt continued to frustrate Humboldt’s offence.
After the Bruins were unable to extend their lead despite great oppotunities to start the 3rd period, the Broncos finally solved Boldt as after a faceoff win Camrud fired a wrist shot past Boldt to trim Estevan’s lead to 3-1 at the 7:30 mark of the 3rd period.
Humboldt pressured the Bruins for the next several minutes looking to chip away at the deficit, but the Bruins defence weathered the storm and maintained a two-goal lead until the final minutes.
The Broncos pulled the goalie with about 2:30 left in regulation, but were unable to sustain any constant pressure in the Bruins end. With less than a minute to play, Witzke corralled the puck behind his own goal line and sent the puck around the boards to Ripplinger who lifted the puck down the ice. Bryce Platt caught up with the puck in front of the empty net and made no mistake for his second goal of the series to seal the deal and make the final score 4-1.
Grant Boldt (34/35) was almost unbeatable in net for the Bruins in Game 6, while Rayce Ramsay (28/31) kept Humboldt in the game until the final buzzer.
The Bruins won the special teams battle as well. While the powerplay was shut down (0/2), the Bruins scored a shorthanded goal while shutting out Humboldt’s powerplay (0/7).
A crowd of 1,521 were in attendance at the Elgar Petersen Arena, with the Bruins fans accounting for a solid chunk of that number.
The two teams will now face each other for the final time in Game 7 on Tuesday, March 26th at Affinity Place at 7:30. Tickets will go on sale beginning at 9:00am on Monday morning.
Grant Boldt Joins His Teammates To Celebrate Bryce Platt’s Empty Net Goal To Clinch The Victory.