Zach MacLellan took a chance. Fortunately for him and the Estevan Bruins, he gambled right.
The defenceman lugged the puck up ice himself, fired a wrist shot from the right side and then knocked his own rebound past Matt Smidt to score the winning goal with 37.1 seconds left in the third period.
The goal put the Bruins ahead 3-2, a lead that would stick and give the Bruins the victory in the opener of the Sherwood Conference survivor series Friday at Spectra Place.
But Steven Glass was the shining star for the Bruins on this night, stopping 38 of 40 shots, including all 20 the Hounds fired at him in a stellar first period.
This was far from a textbook win by the Bruins, particularly in the first, when the Hounds came out flying and were stymied time and time again by Glass, who made three or four absolutely monstrous saves.
His performance paid off at 5:32 of the second, when Calder Neufeld ripped a power play shot from the top of the right circle over Smidt's right shoulder to open the scoring.
Later in the period, the Bruins were handed a lengthy 5-on-3 when Neufeld was called for boarding on what looked like, to me, a perfectly clean hit on Carson Grolla behind the Hounds' net.
Greg Ferguson capitalized at 16:28, beating Glass with a wrister from the right faceoff circle to tie it up.
Cole Olson put the Bruins ahead again six minutes into the third, popping in a rebound at the side of the net for the Bruins' second power play goal of the night.
About five minutes later, Glass made a big pad save but Dayton Shaw was there to put in the rebound. It was the fourth goal of the game with all four coming on the power play.
I thought a few guys played very well, but the Bruins know they have to be collectively better in order to win the series.
Smidt starting for the Hounds came as a bit of a surprise to me. Do they stick with him tomorrow or go to Reichenbach? You couldn't really blame Smidt for any of the goals, although I thought he could have controlled MacLellan's rebound better.
Game 2 is tomorrow night in Wilcox. I'm sure lots of Estevan people are making the trip, so let's hope this snow forecast doesn't materialize.