The U18 AAA Estevan Bears are back on the ice tonight after defeating the league-leading Saskatoon Blazers and extending their playoff lives.  

The Bears suffered back-to-back losses in Saskatoon over the weekend but came back victorious with a 3-2 win.  

“It feels really good coming back to our home rink, and I mean the way the boys played, they didn’t want the season to be done.” said head coach Ryan Pilon. “We got the win, and it was an exciting game.” 

Pilon said that it wasn’t the first time the team had felt the pressure this season.  

“We’ve been in that type of situation before going against Swift Current a couple weekends ago. Kind of do or die for us,” said Pilon. “So, they were comfortable in the moment and they just kind of went out and played.”  

The audience turnout was the largest since the program began in Estevan, and they hope to see everyone back in the stands tonight.  

“If that was their first game watching in Estevan, then they picked a good one,” said Pilon. “I don’t see why it will be any different tonight.” 

Pillon notes some of the plays stood out in the game last night.  

“Special teams played a huge role. We scored two goals on power play,” said Pilon. "We killed off I believe it was 6 penalty kills that we had. We killed off one in the last two minutes of the game going into overtime. It was a big penalty kill. So that played a crucial role."   

Thomas Ries, who was recently presented with an All-Star Defenseman Award, scored the winning goal in overtime. 

The Bears are hoping to keep the momentum going as they head back onto the ice tonight in game 4.  

“It’s a big turnaround, but we talked about after the game, it’s we won one, now we want to bring this series back to Saskatoon for game five on Sunday, and that’s our goal,” said Pilon.  

Since the season's start, the players have grown individually and as a team.  

“Whether they were borderline making our team, whether they were borderline to play in our league at all. Those guys are playing major roles in the playoffs now.” 

Pilon said that this is a valuable experience whether they come back to The Bears next year or continue onto junior hockey.  

“The team mindset going into this game is that now that we’ve won one, why can’t we win 2 now.”  

The Bears hit the ice at 7:45 tonight at Affinity Place.