Estevan Power Dodge Bruins rookie centre Kyle Dosanjh scored his first Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) goal at the exact moment his team needed it the most.
Dosanjh potted the Bruins opening marker 5:16 into the club’s 6-2 win over the Humboldt Broncos at Affinity Place on Saturday. The goal opened the floodgates for the Bruins, which had gone scoreless for 166 minutes before the tally, and helped the team collect their first win in four games.
“From the faceoff, (Logan) Foster made a great play,” said Dosanjh. “He came and helped me out, got the puck to the defenceman and I went to the net, got the rebound and scored.”
Bruins centre Michael McChesney quickly followed in Dosanjh’s footsteps deflecting a Jason Miller shot from the point into a bottom corner of Broncos goalie Garrett Mason’s net only 40 seconds later. With the Bruins dominating in all areas of the ice early on leading to an 8-2 advantage on the shot clock, McChesney notched his second of the night 10:03 into the game with a wrist shot from the top of the circle that beat Mason five hole.
Dosanjh made the score 4-0 a little over three minutes later by jamming in a Matt McNeil rebound before Broncos centre Michael Korol wired a shot from the wing low far side on Bruins netminder Curtis Meger to bring his club to within three 15:32 into the first period.
After a slow start to the second stanza for both teams, the Bruins began to apply pressure around the middle of the frame with McChesney nailing a one-timer off an offensive zone faceoff 10 minutes in, which was followed three minutes later by a Miller deke and backhand at the top of Mason’s crease that the goaltender got a pad on. Broncos right wing Daniel McKitrick replied back at the 14:26 mark with a move to the middle from the side boards where he fired the puck into the top of Meger’s net to make the score 4-2.
A Broncos parade to the penalty box midway through the third period helped the Bruins add to their lead. Left wing Hayden Guilderson got the team’s first power-play marker of the period corralling a pass off his skate and flipping the puck into the blocker side from the top of the crease at the 8:56 mark before veteran defenceman Josh Rieger beat Mason with a slapper from the point with just under five minutes remaining.
“We’re one of the hardest working teams in the league,” said Dosanjh. “We’ve got skill too, but hard work (did it). We dug down and got the win.”
Chris Lewgood, head coach and general manager of the 16-7-0-1 Bruins, said there was something missing in each of the team’s three previous losses, but they simplified their play, included all elements of the game plan and played a complete 60 minutes to get the win. He said they’ll need to do the same this weekend as the team heads on the road to face the Broncos (15-7-0-1) on Thursday, the Kindersley Klippers (9-13-1) on Friday and the SJHL leading Battlefords North Stars (19-5) on Saturday.
“It’s a big trip in that we’re playing against teams that we haven’t had our best luck against, but it’s also big in that we’re also playing against teams that we’re going to be competing with in the big picture,” said Lewgood. “Kindersley is a little lower in the standings, but they’re a team that has beat us twice in regulation and the other two are teams that we’re going to have to be able to beat if we’re going to make any noise this year in the playoffs.”