Icing a completely revamped lineup, the CanElson Drilling Estevan Bruins finally saw their offence come alive in their first win at home this season.
The Bruins got all the scoring they needed in the first period of a 5-1 victory over the Weyburn Red Wings on Saturday at Spectra Place.
One of the Bruins' biggest problems in a slow start to the season had been an inability to put away their chances, but that wasn't an issue on Saturday, as they scored five goals on 37 shots against Wings goalie Nicholas Clark.
Goaltender Curtis Martinu wasn't busy, but put in a solid night's work in stopping 22 of 23 shots.
"Any time they can put five in, it gives me a lot of confidence to keep the boys in there and stop as many as I can," said Martinu, who earned his second win of the season.
"It felt good. The boys all stuck to the systems and did what the coach asked us to do and we came out with the W."
Bruins head coach and general manager Keith Cassidy said the team's ability to put the puck in the net was the biggest thing separating Saturday's win from previous losses.
"Obviously we got better results (Saturday), but we skated like that in Humboldt, we skated like that in La Ronge, we skated like that in Nipawin. We just weren't getting rewarded for our efforts. We weren't capitalizing on those opportunities."
On Saturday, right winger Tanner Froese drew first blood for the Bruins, scoring a power play goal at the 2:38 mark of the first period. It was the first of three goals for Froese's newly constructed line, which also included Hudson Morrison and Austin Daae.
Lane Harbor tied it for Weyburn midway through the frame, walking out from the left corner and snapping a wrist shot past Martinu.
Wyatt Garagan put the Bruins back on top at 13:46, putting in the rebound of a Tyler Paslawski shot. The 2-1 lead would hold until the end of the period.
Morrison scored his first of two goals on the night three minutes into the second period on a smart play by Martinu to hit him with a stretch pass during a Wings line change.
"I saw them dump it in because we were on the power play there and they had to change, and I just threw the puck up and got lucky, I guess, with the assist," said Martinu.
"Marty made a nice pass and sprung me and I just tried opening the door up and putting it in," said Morrison, who finished off the breakaway with a forehand deke that beat Clark.
Morrison scored his second goal about 10 minutes later when his shot went off a Weyburn defenceman and in.
"I had some luck there on the second one. Coach just said he didn't know much about this goalie, so put everything on net, and I did and it bounced in," Morrison said.
Bruins winger Nick Weiss made it 5-1 only 75 seconds later, roofing a spectacular shot from the right faceoff circle that went off the crossbar and in.
"We got some rebound goals, and we also got some major league goals. That one that Nick Weiss scored is a goal on anybody in any league," said Cassidy.
The contest also included two fights and some bad blood, especially in the second period.
Red Wings forward Josh Lees got the decision over Bruins winger Taylor Reich in a fight in the first period.
Late in the second, after Weyburn star Miguel Pereira delivered a hit from behind, Martinu slashed him and defenceman Tyler Poskus dropped the gloves.
"It's nice to get the rivalry started. I think you saw that there's a bit of a hatred out there already that far exceeds what we saw last year. Even in the playoffs, we weren't as on the chip as we were (Saturday)," said Cassidy.
"Getting that win at home against them is certainly going to give us confidence going forward."
Cassidy added that the new lines and defence pairings seemed to pay off.
"The one constant there is I really enjoyed our speed. The speed was something that was evident. It had them taking penalties all night long. That, combined with us generating a few more chances on the power play and actually capitalizing on one or two of them, certainly speaks to what we're trying to do," he said.
Bruins left winger Calder Neufeld missed the game with a sprained ankle suffered in practice on Thursday. He is expected to miss about 10 days of action.
Meanwhile, goaltender Steven Glass is about three weeks away from returning from a knee injury. He had arthroscopic surgery on Oct. 1 and no major damage was found.
The Bruins were set to host the Yorkton Terriers last night and are on the road against Humboldt and Flin Flon this weekend.