Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League

Bruins Win Game 7 OT Thriller 3-2 Over Humboldt



An unbelievably entertaining Best-of-7 SJHL quarterfinal series between the Power Dodge Estevan Bruins and Humboldt Broncos received the ending it deserved on Tuesday night.

Game 7 went to overtime tied at 2-2 before Tristyn Deroose sent the Bruins into the semi-final scoring the series-clinching goal at the 4:54 mark in the extra frame for a 3-2 victory and a (4-3) series win.

The Bruins battled back after losing three of the first four games of the series to rattle off three consecutive wins, two in overtime, in advancing to the SJHL’s final four for the third straight season.

The fans in Estevan would show up in massive numbers for the first Game 7 in the city since 2005, and the first one ever in Affinity Place. Before the opening puck drop, a sellout crowd of 2,662 was announced for the fourth sellout for the Bruins in the last calendar year.

With their home crowd buzzing in the stands, the Bruins would open the scoring and lift the roof of the building with two goals in 19 seconds.

First, Jayden Davis and Will Koop would cycle the puck down low until Davis set up Koop in the slot for a quick backhand shot that beat Humboldt’s Rayce Ramsay to make it 1-0. Michael McChesney also assisted on Koop’s 2nd goal of the series at the 7:40 mark.

Then at 7:59, Isaiah Thomas burned down the wing and after his initial  pass was knocked away, Thomas set up linemate Eddie Gallagher for his second goal of the series to jump the Bruins ahead to a 2-0 lead. Ryder Pierson also assisted on the goal by the ‘Mosquitos’.

The Bruins continued to lead 2-0 after the 1st period, but Humboldt would not go away easily.

The Broncos would get back in the game by tying things up less than two minutes into the period with two goals in 31 seconds.

A nice passing play led to defenceman Josh Patrician scoring at the 1:26 mark to trim Estevan’s lead to 2-1. Then at 1:57, Reagan Poncelet jammed home the puck past Bruins’ netminder Grant Boldt to even the score at 2-2. That would remain the score after two periods of play.

In the 3rd period, both teams would have great opportunities to take the lead in the elimination game but neither squad could capitalize. After 60 minutes, the score remained 2-2 and the final game of the series would be decided in overtime.

With essentially every fan still glued to their seat, the teams would take to the ice for the 1st overtime period.

The Bruins would pressure for the winning goal early and just minutes in the fans thought it had happened, but a Kade McMillen shot from the point would hit the post and deflect harmlessly into the corner.

After Boldt made a save on Michael Clarke less than a minute later, the Bruins would head up the ice looking for the game winner.

TJ Irey controlled the puck over the line and cut through the slot passing off to Tristyn Deroose. Deroose’s shot was blocked in front before reaching Ramsay, but bounced into the air where Irey knocked it down. Humboldt was unable to clear and Thomas banged the puck loose through the crowd and it popped out to the side of the net for a wide-open Deroose who snuck around the defence. Deroose banged the puck into the open net and sent the fans in Affinity Place into a frenzy, with his teammates flooding off the bench to mob him in the corner after scoring the overtime winner in a 3-2 Game 7 victory.

Grant Boldt (29/31) was stellar for the third consecutive game in net in getting his third straight win and lifting the Bruins into the semi-final round. Boldt has stopped (105/110) shots in the last three games for a 1.45 G.A.A. and a .955 Sv%.

Rayce Ramsay (38/41) once again played strong in goal for Humboldt, despite getting tagged with the loss.

There were only two total penalties in the game, with each team going (0/1) on the man advantage.

A sold-out crowd of 2,662 helped create one of the most unforgettable atmosphere’s in Bruins history for Game 7 on Tuesday night. The Certified Energy Services 50/50 jackpot exceeded $36,120 with the massive prize being claimed.

The Bruins will now face the Melfort Mustangs (who beat Kindersley 4-1) in the SJHL semi-final round, while the other semi-final features the Battlefords North Stars (4-3 over Flin Flon) and the Yorkton Terriers (4-3 over Nipawin).

Dates have yet to be finalized, but Game 1 and 2 in Melfort is anticipated to be played on Friday, March 29th and Saturday, March 30th. Game 3 and 4 will be played at Affinity Place in Estevan early next week at the start of April.

The Bruins Celebrate Will Koop’s 1st Period Goal In Game 7. (Photo: Durr Photography)

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