The CanElson Drilling Estevan Bruins have fallen behind the Yorkton Terriers in their Sherwood Conference semi-final series.
Yorkton defeated Estevan 2-1 on March 12 in Yorkton to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. After two scoreless periods, Yorkton's Patrick Martens scored twice in the third to give Yorkton a 2-0 lead.
Tanner Froese scored for Estevan with 56 seconds remaining in the third to cut the deficit in half, but the Bruins couldn't get the equalizing goal.
Curtis Martinu stopped 38 shots.
Yorkton won Game 1 6-1 on March 8, but Estevan responded with a 5-2 victory on March 9. It was the Bruins first win in the conference semi-finals since 2007.
"Hopefully they enjoy it," said head coach/GM Keith Cassidy. "But like I told them, it only gets more difficult from here. We're going to be playing hurt, we're going to be nicked up, and the further we go, the worse that gets. We're trying to prepare them for that."
Dylan Smith scored the Bruins' only goal in Game 1. Smith's goal came midway through the first period, with the Terriers already ahead 2-0. Yorkton would score shortly after Smith's tally, and then added two goals in the second period, and one in the third, to rout the Bruins.
The following night in Game 2 in Estevan, Calder Neufeld scored 15 seconds into the first period to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead.
"The nice thing about that goal is it wasn't a pretty goal," said Cassidy. "It was an ugly, playoff goal, and we're going to need more of those."
Yorkton tied the game before the period was over on a play that Cassidy thought was offside.
Goals by Alex Cote, Dylan Smith and Froese five-and-a-half minutes apart in the second period gave the Bruins a 4-1 lead after 40 minutes.
Yorkton scored early in the third, but Smith's second of the game 90 seconds later restored the three-goal advantage.
Martinu was also in goal for the first two games of the series.
"We were a little harder on our forecheck (in Game 2), which presented more opportunities, and we kept our feet moving in our own zone, which really benefitted us being able to stop their cycle," said Cassidy.
Game 4 will be played March 14 at 7:30 p.m. at Spectra Place. Game 5 is set for March 16 in Yorkton. Game 6, if necessary, would be at 6 p.m. on March 17 at Spectra Place, and Game 7 would take place March 19 in Yorkton.