The CanElson Drilling Estevan Bruins came up with one of their best efforts of the season with a 4-3 victory over the Notre Dame Hounds on January 15.
Estevan trailed 2-0 by the five minute mark of the second period, but goals by Dylan Smith, Tyler Kauk and Cole Olson in a seven-minute span gave the Bruins a 3-2 lead. Notre Dame tied the game with two minutes to play in the second, but Olson scored the winning goal seven minutes into the third.
Curtis Martinu made 20 saves for the win.
Head coach/GM Keith Cassidy applauded his team's effort, and said they shouldn't have been behind by two goals.
“I think that it shows you what we're capable of when we're believing in one another, and we're talking positive, and supporting each other,” said Cassidy.
Cassidy was also pleased with the club's performance during a two-game road trip to northwest Saskatchewan. They dropped a 4-3 to the Kindersley Klippers – a game that the Bruins led 2-0 three-and-a-half minutes into the first period – but responded with a 4-3 shootout victory over the Battlefords North Stars the following evening.
“That game in Kindersley was the start of something,” said Cassidy. “We went in there, and we chased their starting goal in the first few minutes. They made a change, the kid came in there, and absolutely stole the game for that hockey club.”
Hudson Morrison and Smith scored early to give the Bruins the 2-0 lead against Kindersley. The Klippers replied with goals in the first and second periods to tie the game, but Olson scored to restore the Bruins lead.
The Klippers scored twice in the third for the comeback win.
The following night, Estevan trailed 3-2 late in the third period, but tied the contest on Hudson Morrison's second of the game. Then the Bruins outscored the Battlefords 2-0 in the shootout.
Zach Douglas had the Bruins' other goal – his first in the SJHL.
Martinu was in goal for both of those games. He made 27 saves against Kindersley, and 42 saves in the win over the Battlefords.
Estevan continues to play without injured players Steven Glass and forward Calder Neufeld. Cassidy said that Glass is on full-time rehab in Saskatoon for his recurring knee problems. He won't be with the team for the foreseeable future.
Neufeld has seen a specialist for his tendon injury. He hasn't been on the ice yet, but Cassidy said the Bruins are hopeful that he will be back in the line-up by the end of the month.
Estevan sits fifth in the Sherwood Conference with a 14-22-2 record, and 30 points. They're three points behind Kindersley for fourth, and six ahead of the last place Weyburn Red Wings.
The Bruins have another road trip coming up, as they'll visit the Nipawin Hawks on January 18 and the Melfort Mustangs on January 19.