The Power Dodge Estevan Bruins had a defensively dominant effort on Friday night in a 2-0 victory over the Melville Millionaires at Affinity Place.
Tristyn DeRoose scored the winning goal on a deflection with the man advantage with less than four minutes to play in the second period, and Johnny Witzke added an empty net goal in the final minute.
Kadin Kilpatrick stopped 15 shots for the victory. While he didn’t have much work, he still had a few tough saves to make to pick up his second shutout in eight days.
“The boys were playing pretty sharp,” said Kilpatrick. “There weren’t too many good opportunities on their side, so it made it easy for me.”
Bruins head coach and general manager Chris Lewgood said it was a good bounce-back effort for Kilpatrick following Tuesday’s 6-5 loss to the Yorkton Terriers.
“I thought he made some big saves for us at key moments, which allowed us to keep the momentum. He didn’t get tested a tonne, but when he did there was some quality (chances).”
Berk Berkeliev stopped 47 shots for the Millionaires. He came up with several outstanding saves during the night, including the third period when the Bruins were pressing to extend the lead.
Lewgood said it was going to take a goal like DeRoose’s to beat Berkeliev.
“It was going to be a rebound or a second or third opportunity, or the tip or a puck off a stanchion or something like that because that guy was dialled in. It was my first look at him. I thought he played excellent and a little different style.”
Kilpatrick said when the opposition goaltender plays so well, it can put added pressure on him to have a strong effort.
“But at the end of the day, you just have to stay focused the whole time, and not think about anything, and just play every minute of every moment in the game.”
Estevan (26-21-2-1) now holds a four-point lead over the Yorkton Terriers for first place in the Viterra Division; the Terriers (25-23-1) still have a game in hand.
The Bruins will visit the Millionaires on Saturday night.