By Cragi Stein
The Melfort Mustangs arrived in the south east corner of the province for the weekend, winners of their first eight games of the season.
The Estevan Bruins, a fellow division leader, were able to put the Mustangs into the loss column for the first time, edging Melfort 3-2.
On a night where the Bruins’ top line was held off the scoresheet for the first time, it was their depth rising to the occasion, as Hayden Guilderson and Jake Fletcher each had a goal and an assist. Matthew Chekay opened the scoring just 1:38 in, Jake Heerspink had a pair of assists and Matt Lukacs made 16/18 saves.
Loch Morrison and Jake Misskey did the scoring for the Mustangs and Evan Plotnik made 30/33 saves. Melfort’s swing continues and ends Saturday in Weyburn.
Forward Brandan Arnold and goaltender Declan Hobbs returned to the Nipawin Hawks from the WHL this week, and both made an impact in their first game back.
For Arnold, the 20-year-old scored three times and an assist, leading the Hawks past the Humboldt Broncos 7-5 on Friday. His goals were a natural hat trick, during a 5:18 span in the third period. Hobbs, while he gave up a couple late goals and saw the gap close a little, he made 26 saves on the night.
Defenseman Josh McDougall matched Arnold with a four point (1g-3a) effort, while Logan Casavant opened the scoring on the powerplay, and Brett Harasymuk and Austin Mikesch rounded out the scoring.
Bronco defenseman Antonio DiPaolo had three assists, while Conner Lukan (1g-1a), Blake Berschiminsky (1g-1a), Logan Schatz, Logan Hunter and Jordan Bogress did the scoring.
Humboldt heads to Nipawin Saturday to complete the home and home.
The Melville Millionaires used five different goal scorers to defeat the Yorkton Terriers 5-1 in Melville.
Daniel Liberty and Yorkton’s Dexter Robinson exchanged first period goals, before the Millionaires struck twice in both the second and third periods.
Eric Welford and Ethan Cooney gave the Millionaires the lead in the second period (Liberty, Welford and Cooney are all rookie defensemen who scored their first goals of the season). Trevor Paradise and Damian Bentz (1g-1a) scored in the third to widen the gap, and Colby Entz shut the door making 29/30 saves.
The Terriers look to even things up when they host the back end of the home and home on Saturday night.
After a pair of wins in La Ronge during the week, the Kindersley Klippers continued on to Flin Flon Friday night, where the Bombers got the upper hand with a 5-1 decision.
Brenden Newton made 28/29 saves for the win, and their scoring was spread out.
Ethan Daniels got it started late in the first period before Nate Hooper, Vaughan Bamford and Calvon Boots tacked on goals in the second. Dylan Burton salted things away in period three, and Kindersley’s Curtis Beck got them on the board during a second period powerplay.
Kindersley’s 4-games in 5-nights trip wraps up Saturday with a rematch at the Whitney Forum.