Tanner Froese scored twice and rookie Keaton Longpre had the winning goal with two-and-a-half minutes to play in the third period as the Estevan Bruins closed out their pre-season with a 5-3 victory over the Weyburn Red Wings on Sunday night.
Dayton Picard and Hudson Morrison also scored for Estevan.
The two teams were tied at 2-2 after the first period, and Weyburn scored the only goal in the second to take a 3-2 lead. But goals by Morrison, Longpre and Froese in the final 11 minutes of the game lifted the Bruins to victory.
Estevan finished the pre-season with a 3-1 record, and scored 22 goals in those four games. Other scores in exhibition games were an 8-5 loss to Notre Dame on September 9, a 5-3 win over the Minot Minotaurs on September 11 and a 7-2 rout of Weyburn on
Head coach/GM Chris Lewgood was pleased with how the team played in the pre-season, and in particular their willingness to compete and fight for each other.
"There are a lot of things I like, but the one thing that stands out to me is I like our mix," said Lewgood. "There is some veteran leadership with some high-end guys who have seniority, and then lots of room to grow on the young players."
Rookie defenceman Nolan Nicholas and 20-year-old forward Corey Kosloski were among the players who stood out during the pre-season, Lewgood said.
The Bruins have also announced a couple of acquisitions. Rookie defenceman Kyle Bird was acquired from the Melville Millionaires for future considerations. Bird played Midget AAA with the Tisdale Trojans last year, and had three goals and 23 points in 44 games.
"Bird's exactly what we knew he was," said Lewgood. "He's a steady player, and a young guy who has lots of room to grow."
Forward RT Rice has been signed as a free agent after playing junior B hockey in B.C. with the Fernie Ghostriders the last two years.
"Scouts didn't miss on Rice," Lewgood said. "He's a big body who finishes his checks, works hard and plays a simple game."
Their arrival left the Bruins with 27 players on their roster; Lewgood said he hopes to trim the number of players to 25 in time for the season opener on September 20 in Melville against the Millionaires.
The Bruins will host Melville the following night.
Lewgood expects that they should have everybody available for the first game.
The club has yet to decide who will be their captain or alternate captains this season. Lewgood said they're getting close to a decision, but the players on the team who are candidates to wear letters have made the process difficult, since they have shown terrific leadership since the start of training camp.