With a tumultuous 2018 nearly behind them, the Estevan Bruins had one more test before them ahead of the new year. They passed the test with flying colours on Sunday, December 30 with a 5-3 win on home ice over the rival Weyburn Red Wings.
The Bruins had goals from 5 different players and outshot the Red Wings 48-24 in the convincing win. Granbt Boldt stopped 21 shots, while a beleaguered Cody Levesque turned aside 43 of 47 shots sent his way, with one goal into an empty net.
The Red Wings began the scoring late in the first period on the power play as Eric Soar got part of a one-timer that pinballed its way past Boldt. It was Soar's second of the year and gave Weyburn their first lead over Estevan all season.
The Red Wings extended their lead in the second on another power play, with Sean Olson breaking over the Bruins blue line and firing a curl-and-drag shot over Boldt's glove. But the Bruins stormed back, starting with Tyson Manz's first of the campaign off the rebound of a Jake Heerspink shot midway through the frame.
Heerspink wasn't done piling up points as, on a Bruins power play just under five minutes later, he blasted a slapshot past a screened Levesque to tie the game.
With the period nearly wrapped up, Bryce Platt found the puck in the slot and waited just long enough for Levesque to drop his guard before finding the top corner to give Estevan the lead. Michael McChesney provided the insurance marker in the third, his 18th of the year, when his power play shot through traffic snuck past Levesque as Platt provided a screen.
The Red Wings got back within one with 31 seconds to play off a goalmouth scramble as Tyran Brown chopped home a rebound, but the Bruins put their foot back on the gas and added an empty netter from Turner Ripplinger to seal the win.
The two teams will take a day off each before meeting again on New Year's Day in Weyburn. Puck drop is at 3:00 on Rock 106.
Jake Heerspink has scored two goals and added five assists in two games against Weyburn in 2018-19. He now sits second among all defensemen in goals with nine. Johnny Witzke leads the league with ten.
Bryce Platt, Turner Ripplinger, and Michael McChesney have combined for six goals and eight assists in two games against Weyburn this season. The three have been playing together as a line for both those games.
The Red Wings have scored five goals against Estevan in two games, and none have been at five-on-five. Four have come on the power play, while the fifth came at 6-on-5. Their power play is 4-for-13 in those games.
The Bruins power play went 2-for-6 in the win, and has now gone 5-for-13 in two games. The two teams have had the exact same number of power plays, with the Bruins scoring one extra goal.