The Estevan Bruins have punched their ticket to the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s playoffs.
The Bruins clinched a postseason birth with a 5-4 overtime victory over the host Flin Flon Bombers Friday night. Isaiah Thomas scored his third of the game 2:13 into the extra frame to lift the Bruins to the win.
Flin Flon led 1-0 after the first period on a goal by Hayden Clayton 1:51 into the game. The Bruins took over in the second, with Erik Boers and Tanner Manz scoring 26 seconds apart early in the frame to take a 2-1 advantage, and then Thomas tallied twice for a 4-1 Bruin lead after two.
But the Bombers average nearly five goals per game, and showed their offensive prowess late in the third, as goals by Donovan Houle-Villeneuve, Matt Raymond and Cole Rafuse in a 5:21 span tied the game and sent it to overtime.
Randy Cooke made 34 saves for the Bruins in the victory.
Since starting the season 4-8-2-1, the Bruins have gone 24-14-1-0 to make the playoffs.
With the win the Bruins (28-22-3-1) moved back into seventh spot in the overall standings, one point up on the Humboldt Broncos. The Bruins have a game in hand.
The Bruins will wrap up this road trip Saturday night when they visit the Nipawin Hawks. Game time is 7:30 p.m.