The Estevan Bruins and Yorkton Terriers tightly contested battle atop the Viterra Division got even narrower on Tuesday, December 4. After putting up nearly 90 shots between the two of them but scoring only four goals, the two clubs went to overtime.
With 1:46 gone in the extra session, Cody Bruchkowski scored the winner after setting up the tying goal, and Ryan Ouellette made 41 saves on 43 shots as Yorkton edged Estevan 3-2. Grant Boldt was stellar despite the loss, turning aside 42 of 45 shots sent his way.
The Bruins opened the scoring on a play Ouellette would like back just over nine minutes into the first. The Terrier tender sent the puck up the left wing boards in his own zone, only to have it picked off by Turner Ripplinger. The Bruins winger snapped his 14th of the year under Ouellette’s pad as he struggled to get back into the crease.
Yorkton knotted the score five minutes later as Karstin McDonald’s point shot bounced off several players in front before trickling past Boldt’s outstretched right pad. The goal was McDonald’s second of the year.
The two goaltenders traded brilliant saves in the second, and it took an equally brilliant goal to beat one of them. TJ Irey and Jayden Davis stormed up the ice on a 2-on-2 rush and executed a perfect passing play, throwing the puck back and forth and turning the Terriers inside out before Davis tapped home the final feed to give Estevan the 2-1 advantage.
The Bruins hung on in the third, with Boldt making numerous highlight reel saves. He stoned Jared Legien on a clean breakaway and held the Terriers off the scoreboard until almost the last moment when Bruchkowski threw the puck across the crease on a spinorama backhand pass to Colby Brandt, who made no mistake.
Buoyed by the goal, Yorkton stormed out of the gate in overtime, trading chances with the Bruins until Bruchkowski tapped home a feed from Chantz Petruic to give the Terriers the win.
Estevan falls three points back of the Terriers for first in the Viterra Division. They next play again on December 18. The Bruins play the millionaires first on December 12 in Melville.
Jayden Davis’s goal, his seventh of the year, ties a career high in goals and points in 5 fewer games than he took to hit the total last year. He and TJ Irey are both working on career seasons.
Boldt’s start was his fourth straight on the road. He went 2-1-1 in those four games with a GAA of 2.00 and a save percentage of .939.
Estevan falls to 2-2-1 against the Yorkton Terriers this year. They split the season series 4-4 last year.