The Estevan Sherritt Coal Bruins followed up a disappointing season opener on Saturday with an impressive come-from-behind win on Sunday.
The peewee AA squad (1-1) lost 4-1 to the Moose Jaw Warriors on Saturday and defeated the Warriors 6-5 the next day. Both games were played at Spectra Place.
On Sunday, the Bruins overcame two deficits and popped in three third-period goals to pull out the win. Captain Cole Fonstad led the way with a hat trick.
"I was beyond impressed with my hockey team. They're 11 and 12-year-old kids, but they showed just a tremendous amount of character," said head coach Jeff Pierson. "They had two choices, to give up and give in to the hand they were being dealt, or fight back and score a come-from-behind victory, and that's what's they did."
Moose Jaw took a 2-0 lead late in the first period, but Fonstad got the hosts on the board before intermission, scoring on a shot from the left wing with less than a minute to play.
Fonstad's second goal tied it up about three minutes into the second period on a deke that fooled the Warriors' starter.
At the 11:40 mark, Ryder Pierson put the Bruins on top after taking a pass from the left point and knocking it home from the slot.
Moose Jaw responded almost four minutes later on a rebound goal, and only 97 seconds after that, they struck again after a point shot was deflected and came to a Warriors player on the doorstep, who put it in the net.
The Warriors carried the 4-3 lead into the third period.
Nearly seven minutes into the third, the Bruins tied it up when Fonstad's shot was blocked and ricocheted to Mason Strutt, who made no mistake with his shot.
Pierson scored his second of the game only 22 seconds later to put the Bruins back on top.
Fonstad completed the hat trick at the 12:45 mark, trailing on the rush and putting in the rebound of a Pierson shot.
Moose Jaw scored about 20 seconds later to round out the scoring.
Pierson said that Fonstad played a crucial role in the win, and not only on the scoresheet.
"Cole's a competitor. Every time he's on the ice, he battles. And he does a lot of things other than score. Cole is the leader of this hockey team. He did his job and everyone followed suit."
The Bruins ran into some penalty trouble, but a strong penalty kill and good goaltending from Morgan Wanner helped keep them in the game.
"I think because of our physical play, we've become pretty good penalty killers already, this early in the season. These kids know how to kill a penalty. They did a great job of that," said Pierson.
"We got very solid goaltending from Morgan Wanner. He just had a great game and he made some big saves when they were needed."
Meanwhile, Saturday's game was a different story.
Pierson said his team didn't show up for the game.
"We just didn't come to play, as a team. No one was hustling, no one was moving their feet. (The Warriors) are a hard-working hockey club too, I give them the credit that's due. They deserved to win."
Mason Strutt scored the lone goal for Estevan at 19:25 of the third period. All four of Moose Jaw's goals came in the second period.
The Bruins' next game is Oct. 17 when they visit Weyburn.