The midget AA Apex Bruins (12-8-1-0) made it a bit dramatic, but their two wins over the weekend were oh, so sweet.
The Bruins won an 8-7 thriller in overtime over the Regina Vics Sunday, their second win in as many days over the Vics (14-6-1-1) in Saskatchewan Midget AA action. The Bruins came back in the third period from being down two goals to take the lead, only to lose the lead with 32 seconds left in regulation and win it on overtime.
“I think the most important thing for us was to make sure the guys are even keel the whole way,” said Bruins head coach Riley Hengen. “In a game like that, we’re kind of all over the map and it’s easy to get too low on yourself or too high.
“It’s pretty big just to stay focused.”
The Bruins allowed a power play goal with 32 seconds left to tie the game and send it to overtime. But 2:10 into the 3-on-3 overtime, Tanner Stovin was fed on a long breakaway pass by Trey Stovin and squeezed the puck through Vics goaltender Damion Lindskog.
“That comeback at the end was huge,” Hengen said. “I think that’s the first time we’ve won a game where we were down by two at one point during the game. For us to do that is a pretty big confidence builder for us going forward.”
Kieran Stewart and Tanner Stovin scored two each. Joey Meredith, Tristan Seeman, Kelby Windenmaier and Jared Fornwald scored singles and Trey Stovin had four assists in the game.
The Bruins were able to put these goals behind the Vics goaltenders despite not being with Dalton Schrader for the past while. Schrader has 12 goals and eight assists in 13 games for the Bruins and hasn’t played since Nov. 24 due to injury.
“Not having (Dalton) can hurt but guys need to step in and full the role,” said Hengen. “(Sunday), we had some guys stepping in on offence.”
Morgan Wanner and Zane Winter stopped a combined 39 shots in the win.
Saturday, the Bruins won 3-2 over the Vics. Hull, Fornwald and Kieran Stewart scored, while Winter stopped 27 shots for the win.
The Bruins now have 25 points in 21 games, still a league behind the Swift Current Broncos (23-0-0-0) but well within striking distance of fourth place Melville (13-8-1-2), who are four points ahead of them with the Bruins holding three games in hand.
The Bruins return to action Jan. 4 against Melville.
The bantam AA TS&M Bruins, meanwhile won their last home game before the Christmas break with a 4-1 win over the Yorkton Terriers (0-15-2-0) Friday but lost their last road game 4-1 at the Regina Monarchs Saturday.
The Bruins faced a stiff test in the game against Yorkton by Landon Sorensen, who stopped 34 of 38 shots.
“I thought we controlled the game very well,” said Bruins head coach Blaine Chrest. “We didn’t really give up a lot of opportunities till the third where we took a couple of bad penalties. We kind of let them in the game a bit.”
Other than that, Chrest felt the Bruins controlled the game, as the team allowed only seven shots in the first 40 minutes. Carson Birnie. James Mann, Austin Davis and Colby Cuddington scored singles. Josh Bittman stopped 15 of 16 shots in the Bruins net.
Saturday, the game was scoreless until the third period when a flurry of goals came after Kaden Chrest scored 1:17 into the period. Regina responded with four in that frame. Jackson Miller stopped 43 of 47 shots for the Bruins in the game.
The Bruins return to the ice Jan. 5 against the Notre Dame Houds at 5:15 p.m. at Affinity Place.