In their first game in 10 days, and the first of four games in five days, the Estevan Bruins came ready to play in earning their first win over the Kindersley Klippers in four tries this season.
The Bruins scored three goals in 2:05 during the 2nd period and received another solid performance in net from Keenan Rancier en route to a 4-1 victory at the West Central Events Center on Tuesday night.
Kindersley has caused trouble for the Bruins in previous meetings this season, winning all three matchups including one in a shootout during the SJHL Showcase in Warman. As the Bruins will return to Kindersley in just four days to close out the current road trip, they didn’t want to waste any time getting revenge against the Klippers.
The 1st period was evenly played by both teams, with a few quality chances at either end and no scoring to speak of as we would have to wait until midway through the 2nd period for the first goal of the game.
And that would come courtesy of Bruins’ forward Isaiah Thomas. At the tail end of a penalty kill, Thomas and Jayden Davis raced up the ice on a 2-on-1. Thomas held the puck over the blueline and then ripped a snapshot past Kindersley’s Max Sankner to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead at the 10:18 mark of the 2nd period. Davis drew the lone assist on the goal.
On the very next shift, Thomas would strike again to put the Bruins up by a pair. Davis would pressure the Klippers defence into an ill-advised pass through their own slot area which was picked off by Thomas who danced in, faked out Sankner, and then finished off a filthy deke for his 8th goal of the year to make it 2-0 at the 11:20 mark. Again, Davis was credited with the lone assist.
Just 1:06 later, the Bruins would capitalize once again. During a line change, Devan Harrison fired a stretch pass from his goal line to the far blueline for Troy Hamilton. Hamilton and Eddie Gallagher broke in on a 2-on-1 with Hamilton saucing a pass to Gallagher who corralled the puck and fired in a shot for his 3rd goal of the year to suddenly make it 3-0 at the 12:26 mark.
Rancier and the Bruins defence continued to keep the Klippers offence at bay despite Kindersley outshooting Estevan throughout the game. It remained 3-0 until the final minutes when Kindersley would pull the goalie with over four minutes remaining in a desperate effort to come back.
But that decision would backfire as an attempted pass in front of the Bruins net was picked off by CJ Corazzin. The Bruins’ defenceman stopped the pass, stickhandled into an open area, and wristed a perfect 180-foot shot into the empty net for his 2nd goal of the year. The shorthanded marker would be unassisted at the 16:24 mark of the 3rd period.
On the next shift, while still on the powerplay, Kindersley would break Rancier’s shutout bid as Brendan Borbely’s point shot found it’s way through a screen and into the net to make it 4-1 at the 17:11 mark.
The Bruins would hold on from there and celebrate a 4-1 victory for their 3rd win in their last 4 games.
Keenan Rancier (40/41) continued his league-leading goaltending efforts with another rock-solid performance in net for the Bruins. Max Sankner (30/33) was tagged with the loss for Kindersley.
The Bruins (0/4) were shutout on the man advantage, though Corazzin’s empty net goal was scored shorthanded and Thomas’ first goal was scored just as another penalty kill expired. Kindersley went (1/5) on the powerplay.
The Bruins (8-10-2-1) will continue their road trip on Wednesday night as they travel to Humboldt (13-9-2-2) for their only game of the regular season at the Elgar Petersen Arena. Game time is 7:30pm.