The new head coach and general manager of the Melville Millionaires hasn’t had long to get his team all pulling in the same direction. If Wednesday, December 12 against the Estevan Bruins was any indication, Kyle Adams is well on his way to his team turning around. The Bruins, meanwhile, turned the wrong direction.
Estevan surrendered two power play goals and Kadin Kilpatrick allowed five goals on only 18 shots as Melville cruised to a 5-1 win. Kolton Leslie scored the Bruins only goal at even strength.
The Bruins roared out of the gate, looking to bulldoze the Millionaires early, but were stymied by timely defense and the occasional strong save from Colby Entz, who finished with 25 on 26 shots. The Millionaires busted the game wide open before the period was out, starting at 14:55 of the frame when Luke Spadafora dangled his way to a 2-on-1 before feeding Josh Borynec at the back door for a tap in.
The Millionaires went to the power play as Bryce Platt sat for slashing, and then enjoyed a 5-on-3 advantage after Johnny Witzke played the puck with a broken stick. They scored on the 5-on-3 as Aiden Steinke chopped home a rebound off a Jake Heerspink block, then scored again at 5-on-4 on a slap pass to Cory Schillo to round out the scoring in the opening period.
Estevan appeared to claw their way closer in the second. They pressed hard, getting their first goal of the game when Leslie walked out from the side of the net and quickly flipped a backhand over the glove of Entz. Late in the period, however, after the Bruins missed on a power play of their own, Spadafora found himself all alone with a clean breakaway from the blue line in and elevated a backhand of his own past Kilpatrick after a couple of slick moves.
That goal took the wind out of the Bruins sails, but it wasn’t the last of the game for the Millionaires. Daniel Liberty wired home a one-timer at 4-on-4 to complete the scoring and salt away the win for Melville. Though the Bruins found some jump in their step late, it was far too deep into the game to have any meaningful impact.
Estevan drops their second straight game and falls to 15-18-2 on the year. They will return to play on Saturday night in Weyburn, facing their arch-rivals the Red Wings for the first time this year.
Devan Harrison and James Philipot made their debuts for the Bruins and Millionaires respectively. Neither player registered a point.
The Bruins are now 5-3-1 against Viterra Division opponents this year. This was their first loss to Melville since December 16 of 2017.
The Millionaires are now 2-2 since Adams took over as head coach and GM on November 29. Both wins have come against Viterra Division teams. They are 5-5 in their last ten.