The CanElson Drilling Estevan Bruins early-season offensive woes continued during a two-game weekend road trip.
Estevan lost 2-0 to the Humboldt Broncos on October 12, and 2-1 to the Flin Flon Bombers on October 13, leaving the Black and Gold with a 2-7-1 record through the first 10 games of the season.
Brett Dumaine had the Bruins' lone goal during the road trip – a third period marker against Flin Flon that tied the game at 1-1. Estevan and Flin Flon were scoreless through two periods; Flin Flon scored early in the third to take a 1-0 lead, but Dumaine responded with a goal nine seconds later. It was his first SJHL goal.
Flin Flon scored the winner with five minutes to play in the third.
"That game in Flin Flon was probably one of the best SJHL hockey games I've ever seen," said Bruins' head coach/GM Keith Cassidy. "It was fast, tight-checking, and there was fantastic goaltending at both ends."
Curtis Martinu started both games for Estevan. He stopped 21 shots against Humboldt, and made 41 saves versus Flin Flon.
Cassidy said the Bruins battled hard both games. Even though they haven't been able to score – they have just 19 goals in 10 games – the players are still doing the right things. Goaltending has been excellent, and the overall team defensive play has been strong.
"If you would have told me at the beginning of the year that we'd go up north to Humboldt and Flin Flon, and give up two goals in each game, I'd say we'd end up with four points," said Cassidy. "But that wasn't the case."
The Bruins are now in the market for goal scorers. Cassidy realizes that players like that are hard to find, but through the connections within the Bruins' organization, Cassidy expects they'll be able to find scoring help.
The most dangerous goal scorer currently on the Bruins' roster, Calder Neufeld, is likely still out for another week to 10 days with a high ankle sprain.
Estevan will host Flin Flon on October 20. Game time is at 7:30 p.m. Then they visit the Weyburn Red Wings on October 21.
Cassidy said it has been advantageous to have a week between games, since the team can work on the offence during practices.
In off-ice news, the club has reduced its roster to 25 players, with three goaltenders, seven defencemen and 15 forwards. Two defencemen are no longer with the team: Patrick Hurley, 20, has been released, and Nick Sova, 19, is awaiting a trade.
Hurley was acquired via a trade in August, and was expected to bring size and experience to the defence. But he hasn't provided the type of impact that Cassidy expects from his 20-year-olds. Several young defencemen have played well early this season, too.
Sova was a training camp walk-on who played his way onto the team, but he has been used sparingly since the start of the regular season.
The Bruins have unveiled a new mural for the Turnbull Redi-Mix Bruin complex. Completed by Stellar Signs, the mural depicts long-time Bruin head coach Gary McKechney speaking to Bruin alumni Ambie Hengen, current Bruin Taylor Reich, Estevan Minor Hockey player Brady Long and possible future Bruin Boston Tait.