The Estevan Bruins have gone from a six-game winning streak to a three-game losing skid.
Estevan lost 3-2 to the Weyburn Red Wings on January 17 at Affinity Place, and 5-3 to the Notre Dame Hounds on the 21st in Wilcox.
Weyburn opened the scoring early in the first period on a goal by Jon Brumwell, but Estevan tied the game a couple minutes later when Chris Thorimbert scored.
Shain Scheschuk scored midway through the second to give Weyburn a 2-1 lead.
Weyburn's advantage remained in tact until late in the third, when Wyatt Garagan tied the game. Garagan beat Weyburn goalie Rylan Parenteau high, but the puck ricocheted out of the net so quickly that referee Derrek Myers didn't rule it a goal.
The play continued while the Bruins celebrated, leading to a breakaway for Weyburn that was thwarted by Bruin goaltender Matt Gibney stopped.
After conferring with the linesman, Myers ruled Garagan's shot was a goal.
Two minutes after Garagan's tally, Redvers' Ty McLean scored the game-winner.
The end of the game was marred by an incident in which Bruin forward Austin Daae – the top scorer in the SJHL – was checked from behind into the boards by Brumwell.
Gibney made 28 saves in the loss.
Head coach/GM Chris Lewgood said his team might have suffered a letdown against Weyburn after an emotional, 4-3 shootout loss three nights earlier against the league-leading Melville Millionaires.
"I think there was some mental fatigue there," said Lewgood. "I think we were tired, and we looked a little lazy."
Notre Dame led 2-0 after the first period on goals by Dillon Schwartzenberger and Logan Saworski.
From there, the two teams traded goals. Keaton Longpre scored to give the Bruins some life early in the second, but Schwartzenberger restored the two-goal lead less than a minute later. Jared Martin upped the lead to 4-1 with less than a minute remaining in the second.
Garagan pulled the Bruins to within two early in the third, but Sam Aulie sealed the victory for Notre Dame with a goal late in the third.
Daae, whose status was questionable prior to the game, scored for Estevan in the final minute.
Gibney stopped 23 of the 28 shots he faced.
Lewgood said Bruins were better than they were against Weyburn, but it still wasn't a complete effort.
"We didn't get any bounces, but we also didn't create enough for ourselves," said Lewgood.
The players have done some good things in the last couple games, he said, but not enough to win each night.
Defenceman Kyle Bird and forward/defenceman RT Rice missed both games due to injury. They're getting closer to playing, Lewgood said.
In the meantime, the club has been relying on affiliated players to round out the blue-line. Josh Rieger and Jake Tesarowski were called up from midget AAA for the contest against Weyburn.
"I thought Rieger and Tesarowski fit in just fine," said Lewgood. "They're very different players from one another, but both guys stepped up and did their share, and then some."
Jason Hengen was brought up from junior B for the fourth time this season to play against Notre Dame.
Estevan remains at 46 points with a 20-15-2-4 record. They're entering a crucial portion of their schedule, as their next five games are on home ice. The first three will be January 24 against the Nipawin Hawks, the 25th against the La Ronge Ice Wolves and the 28th against the Melville Millionaires.
All three games will start at 7:30 p.m.