The Power Dodge Estevan Bruins outshot their opponent by 34 throughout the game, but they would rely on Kadin Kilpatrick to shut the door and an empty net goal to get by the Melville Millionaires at Affinity Place.
Johnny Witzke scored into the empty cage with 23 seconds to play and Kadin Kilpatrick recorded in second shutout in seven days as the Bruins defeated Melville 2-0 on Friday night.
Coming off a 6-5 loss to Yorkton after winning seven straight games, the Bruins came out of the gate flying against the overmatched Millionaires squad. However, Melville would receive stellar goaltender from Berk Berkeliev all night long beginning in the first period. Estevan would lead in the shot department 18-6 after 20 minutes but the score remained tied at 0-0.
Though Kilpatrick wasn't tested often, he was sharp when called upon including a huge save on a breakaway by Melville's Damien Bentz early in the 2nd period to keep it scoreless. The Bruins would earn a powerplay late in the frame and finally break the deadlock.
At the 16:11 mark on the powerplay, Michael McChesney took the pass from Devan Harrison and worked his way into the high slot for a shot. It glanced off of Tristyn Deroose who was screening Berkeliev and found the back of the net as Deroose's 7th goal of the season put Estevan up 1-0 after two periods of play. The shots were 32-11 heading into the 3rd period.
Instead of Melville pushing for the equalizer, it would be the Bruins coming wave after wave looking for the insurance marker throughout the period. But Berkeliev made a number of big saves to keep his team just one shot away from tying the game until the final seconds of play.
It would take Berkeliev being pulled for the extra attacker for Estevan to score again, as Johnny Witzke took a pass from Will Koop and found the back of the net with only 23 seconds to play to round out the scoring at 2-0. Bryce Platt also assisted on Witzke's 12th goal of the year.
Kilpatrick (15/15) recorded his second shutout in as many Friday's in February (16/16 in a 7-0 win over Weyburn on Feb. 1). Berkeliev would be tagged with the loss for Melville despite making 47 saves and allowing just the one goal to Estevan.
The Bruins would finish (1/3) on the powerplay and see their streak of games with a shorthanded goal end at three. The Millionaires went (0/2) on the man advantage.
A total of 994 fans enjoyed the game on a bittery-cold Friday night in southeast Saskatchewan. The Certified Energy Services 50/50 jackpot reached a total of $3,730.
The two teams will meet again on Saturday night in Melville in the back half of the weekend home-and-home series. The Bruins will enter play four points ahead of Yorkton in the Viterra division standings after the Terriers fell 7-4 in Battlefords on Friday night.
Kadin Kilpatrick Makes A 2nd Period Save On Melville's Damien Bentz. (Photo: Durr Photography)