The TS&M bantam AA Bruins didn’t have a lot of success against some of the northern Saskatchewan teams last season but they weren’t about to let that get in the way of their desire to get a point out of Sunday’s game.
The Bruins came from behind to tie the Prince Albert Pirates 2-2 Sunday afternoon at Affinity Place in a game that felt like a win based on how the Bruins played and their opposition, one of the top teams in the traditionally tougher northern half of the Saskatchewan Bantam AA Hockey League.
The tie, along with the win Friday against Weyburn, gives the Bruins three points in their first two games.
“We think that the southern (teams) have been getting a little bit closer to them,” said Bruins head coach Blaine Chrest. “PA will be in the mix up north, top five maybe and we’re thinking we’re going to be able to compete with them. We certainly had a good third period.”
Chrest admitted they didn’t play their game for the first two periods but stormed back to tie the game unloading over 40 shots on Pirates goaltender Nicolas Jensen. A difference in some of the lines helped, as did a focus on winning some battles along the boards, Chrest said.
“We just kind of talked to the boys in the third period and said we’ve got to dig down deep here,” said Bruins captain Colby Cuddington. “We knew that we were the better team out there but we just didn’t get the bounces.
It was Cuddington’s snapshot that found its way behind Jensen that tied the game.
“I got a nice pass from James (Mann) and then I cut down the middle,” said Cuddington. “I just saw the bottom corner open and I just shot and hoped for the best and it went in.”
Five minutes of three-on-three overtime hockey solved nothing.
For some of the Bruins, it was their first weekend of bantam AA regular season action and for the most part they were able to stand up to the new, higher level.
“it’s an adjustment, if you’re playing house hockey or you’re playing peewee it’s a little more rugged and (Sunday’s) game was a lot more rugged than the Weyburn game,” said Chrest. “We’re a very big team and we match up against the other big teams. We proved it in the third period. We came out and won the battle instead of losing the battle.”
Friday, the Bruins got two goals from Kaden Chrest and singles from Mason Fichter and Mason Kukura. Joshua Bittman got the win in net.
The Bruins’ next action is Friday at 8 p.m. against the Prairie Storm Extreme Hockey and Saturday at 4 p.m. against the Saskatoon Stallions.