The longest winning streak of the Estevan Bruins season got longer on Saturday, February 2. After hammering the Weyburn Red Wings the night before, the Bruins picked up where they left off, crushing their closest rivals yet again.
Michael McChesney scored twice, while Bryce Platt, Turner Ripplinger, Jayden Davis, Johnny Witzke, and Eddie Gallagher also scored as the Bruins cruised to a 7-2 victory. Kadin Kilpatrick earned the win, sweeping the Red Wings for the second time on the season.
"If things are going well, you get lots sometimes," said Bruins head coach and GM Chris Lewgood of an offensively explosive weekend. "Our guys stayed the course. Once you get a significant lead it's easy to cheat a bit or get too cute but our guys stayed within the game plan, and when you do that you get a chance to pile a few on."
Platt began the avalanche of goals just over five minutes into the first. After doing a full lap of the offensive zone, Platt saw an opening, cut to the middle and fired home his 16th of the campaign past Ben Laidlaw. Just over a minute later, McChesney got his first of two when his back-door feed to Davis hit the skate of Red Wing defender Eric Soar and went in.
"Me and Davis just broke the puck out together," McChesney said of the goal. "We had a bit of a two-on-one with the backchekcer trying to catch (Davis). I didn't think the backchecker would catch him so I threw him a backdoor pass. Honestly I have no idea what it hit, I thought Jayden scored but I'll take it."
The Red Wings got their first goal of the weekend at 14:53 of the first when Jordan Kazymyra broke in alone and, after missing on a breakaway the previous night, made good on this one with a backhand finish. But any momentum the Wings gained was short-lived as Ripplinger and Davis executed a give-and-go that left Ripplinger shooting from the slot, where he snuck one through Laidlaw's pads for the 3-1 lead.
McChesney made it 4-1 in the second when he tapped home a pinpoint slap-pass from Aigne McGeady-Bruce. Then, with Austin King-Cunningham in the box, they scored their third shorthanded goal in three penalty kills when Ripplinger repaid Davis's favor from earlier, giving him a tap-in at the side of the net.
When the Bruins got another power play of their own, they made good on it with Witzke slapping the puck past Laidlaw's left pad and ending his night. The Red Wings clawed their way back within one as the game got physical, but in the third, Gallagher showed off patience and good hands, deking out Cody Levesque and tucking home his fifth of the year to complete the rout.
"It's mentality," Lewgood said of his team's newfound successs. "I think our guys are having fun at the rink. I think we're playing with some humility but I think we've simplified the game. There's some humility in our game plan and swagger and humility can work together.. With our group that's important."
The Bruins win puts them four points up on the Yorkton Terriers for top spot in the Viterra Division. Estevan and Yorkton will meet on Tuesday night, with the game airing on Rock 106.
The win moves the Bruins to 6-1 against the Wings this year, and guarantees they will win the ten-game season series. In their wins they have outscored the Wings 38-12.
Michael McChesney posted a three-point night for the second straight game. Turner Ripplinger added three points as well, while TJ Irey and Johnny Witzke added two apiece. Witzke had five points in two games on the weekend.
Aigne McGeady-Bruce's assist gives him six assists in his last seven games. He tied his total from last year with 15.
The Bruins seven game win streak is their longest of the year so far, and longest since October 19-November 1 of 2016. They defeated Melville, Nipawin, Yorkton, La Ronge, Flin Flon, Melfort, and Yorkton again before losing to Melville 3-2 on November 4.