The Power Dodge Estevan Bruins rallied from a 2-0 deficit, and withstood a marathon 11-round shootout, in a 3-2 victory over the Kindersley Klippers Saturday night at Affinity Place.
The first period was fairly uneventful until the final minute, when a skirmish resulted in a four-minute power play for the Klippers. Brendon Borbely scored moments later to give the Klippers a 1-0 lead, then Caden Benson tallied 62 seconds into the second on another man advantage for a 2-0 Kindersley lead. At one point early in the second, the shots were 15-9 in favour of the Klippers.
But the Bruins wouldn't give up, and with 6:34 remaining in the middle frame, Bryce Platt scored on a rush to cut the deficit in half. The Bruins had chances to tie, including an opportunity for TJ Irey late in the stanza, but they couldn't convert.
Midway through the third, Turner Ripplinger scored on a breakaway to tie the game. And while the Bruins outshot the Klippers 13-6 in the third, Kindersley had the best chances late, thanks to a power play in the final minutes.
The Bruins had a power play of their own in overtime, but couldn’t score. The game went to a shootout, and it proved to be one of the longest shootouts in Bruins franchise history.
Irey scored on the Bruins first chance, and some thought Ripplinger had scored in the second round to give the Bruins a 2-0 advantage in the penalty shot contest, but the refs ruled no goal. Austin Nault scored for Kindersley in the second round to tie the shootout.
From there, neither team would score until Carievale's Kade McMillen scored in the 11th round. Bruin goaltender Grant Boldt then stopped Tyson Laduke to clinch the victory.
"I was waiting for my name to be called, and when it was, I was excited," said McMillen.
He saw that Kindersley goaltender Justen Close was "biting pretty hard" on fake shots, so McMillen faked the shot, went wide on Close, and scored.
"It's the first one I've put in the net this season, too, so obviously it feels really good.
Head coach/general manager Chris Lewgood said the Bruins were not out of players capable of scoring in a shootout situation, although they were down to their last five options after McMillen, since forward Will Koop left the game due to injury, and another forward, Jayden Davis, was kicked out of the game for fighting early in the second period.
"It wasn't even a matter of are we going to get another shot, it was more like 'Who are we going with next,' because our goaltender has been so good for us," said Lewgood.
Boldt made 26 saves in the Bruins net for the win, while Close stopped 37 shots in defeat for the Klippers.