The Power Dodge Estevan Bruins just keep rolling along with their 5th straight victory and 12th in the last 13th games after a decisive 7-2 victory over the Weyburn Red Wings at Affinity Place on Saturday night.
The Bruins had won 6 of the first 7 meetings between the two clubs coming into action, and would get out to an early lead in the 1st period.
The puck-luck favoured the Bruins on Saturday night and resulted in the opening goal of the game just 3:39 into the 1st period. Ryder Pierson centered a pass out front for Isaiah Thomas who took a quick shot that was initially stopped by Weyburn’s Ben Laidlaw. But the puck remained loose around Laidlaw in the crease and as the goaltender shifted around looking for the puck, it bounced across the goal line for Thomas’ 8th of the year to make it 1-0. Kolton Leslie was also credited with an assist on the play.
Jayden Davis extended the Bruins lead to 2-0 just minutes later at the 6:03 mark, burying the rebound for his 12th of the season. Michael McChesney and Will Koop assisted on Davis’ marker.
Shortly thereafter, Weyburn’s Tristan Petrie laid a heavy hit on Estevan’s Tyson Manz. Manz’s linemate Tristyn Deroose took exception to the hit and dropped the mitts with Petrie in a solid tilt that kept the rink buzzing on Saturday night.
It remained 2-0 into the 2nd period, where the Weyburn Red Wings began to claw their way back into the game. Jevon Schwean scored on the powerplay to make it 2-1 at the 9:28 mark, but the Bruins would restore their lead just minutes later with another favourable bounce.
At 13:10, Bronson Adams fired a shot from the point stopped by Laidlaw. Once again the puck rested loose in the crease near the Weyburn goaltender, and Laidlaw accidentally pushed the puck over the goal line to make it 3-1 Estevan. After initially being credited to Bryce Platt, the goal was rightfully awarded to Adams for the defenceman’s first career SJHL goal. Turner Ripplinger and Tanner Manz assisted on the goal.
Just over a minute later, the Red Wings would score once again with Drew Anderson making it 3-2 at the 14:22 mark.
But the Bruins would answer back not once, but twice before the end of the period. First, Tanner Manz set up Ripplinger in the high slot and he absolutely blasted a shot past Laidlaw for his 25th of the season to make it 4-2 at the 16:00 mark. Platt also assisted on the goal to extend his point streak to 11 games.
Just 54 seconds later at 16:54, McChesney buried his team-leading 27th of the season to give Estevan a 5-2 lead into the intermission. Davis and Devan Harrison assisted on the goal.
McChesney extended the lead to 6-2 just 3:00 into the 3rd period with his second goal of the game, with Davis and Koop assisting on the marker. That remained the score until the final minutes of the game, with McChesney sniping his 3rd goal of the game for his first hat trick of the season increasing the lead to 7-2. Once again, Davis and Koop assisted on the goal as that line combined for 11 points in the game.
The Bruins would try to set up McChesney for a fourth goal of the game in the final minutes to trigger a promotion from the Taphouse where every fan would receive a free pizza. But McChesney’s lone quality opportunity would be turned aside by Laidlaw.
The night concluded with arguably the ‘Fight of the Year’ in the SJHL between Estevan’s Austin King-Cunningham and Weyburn’s Zac Gladu with only 16 seconds remaining. Both players landed heavy blows with both benches and the massive crowds at Affinity Place roaring with excitement during the fight.
Kadin Kilpatrick (27/29) earned his 10th win of the year for the Bruins, while Ben Laidlaw (37/44) was tagged with the loss.
Estevan only had one powerplay in the game (0/1), while Weyburn went (1/4) on the man advantage.
An enthusiastic crowd of 1,278 enjoyed the Saturday night game, with the Certified Energy Services 50/50 jackpot finishing at $8,200.
The Bruins have now reached at least 30 wins (30-21-2-1) in three consecutive seasons and remain 8 points ahead of the Yorkton Terriers (27-24-1) for the Viterra Division title. The Bruins have four games remaining, while Yorkton has six games left in the regular season. The Bruins magic number to clinch the division title is now at 5 points.
The Bruins host the Notre Dame Hounds on Tuesday, February 19th at 7:00pm.