Nipawin’s home rink, not-so-fondly known as the Cage, has not been kind to the Estevan Bruins in recent years. A stingy Nipawin Hawks team kept the streak going on Tuesday, November 27, blanking the Bruins 3-0.
Carson Erhardt scored twice, with Jordan Simoneau adding another, and Declan Hobbs put up 25 saves for his second shutout against Estevan this year on home ice. Jake Anthony stopped 30 of 33 shots in the loss against his former squad.
The Bruins got what would prove to be their best chance of the game early on as Jayden Davis went in on a breakaway only to meet Hobbs’s trapper when he pulled it to the backhand. Though the Bruins controlled play early, the Hawks turned the momentum when Simoneau struck on a 3-on-2 rush, snapping home his 12thof the year.
Before the first period was out, Nipawin added their insurance goal off a goalmouth scramble. Arik Breton tried to bull his way out of the corner and got stopped, but Erhardt followed the rebound to the crease and banged away at it until it slipped past Anthony.
A scoreless second period passed with little serious pushback from the Bruins. Their power plays failed to generate any offense, and a defensively stalwart Hawks team kept much of the even strength play to the neutral zone.
A fight between Tristyn DeRoose and Cole Beamin was the highlight of the third period for the Bruins as they tried and failed to mount a comeback. Late in the period, a giveaway inside their own blue line sent Erhardt in alone and he cashed in his second and final goal of the night.
The loss drops the Bruins three games below .500 and moves them to 1-2 against the Hawks on the season. The Bruins resume play on Wednesday night in La Ronge against the Ice Wolves. Puck drop is 7:30 on Rock 106.
The Bruins have not won a regular season game in Nipawin since November 27 of 2015. Since they do not play in Nipawin again this regular season, it will be at least 2019 before they break their streak.
The shutout by Declan Hobbs was the second of the year for him against the Bruins. Both those wins came in Nipawin. Estevan was not shut out twice all of 2017-18.
The Bruins power play went 0-for-6 on the night. Their power play is operating at just 13.9 percent and sits 11th in the SJHL, ahead of only the La Ronge Ice Wolves.