By Craig Stein
The Estevan Bruins went into Battlefords on the weekend and they’re heading home with a 2-0 series lead, thanks to Saturday night’s 7-2 romp over the defending champs.
Tanner Manz opened the scoring 18 seconds in, make it 2-0 nine minutes later, and finished with a hat trick to lead the charge. Jayden Davis added four assists, while Arthur Miller had his second straight two goal game. Michael McChesney (1g-1a) and Kaelan Holt rounded out the scoring and Bo Didur stopped 27/29 shots. Didur is 6-0 in the playoffs with a 1.67 GAA and .943%. In the series he’s 2-0, 2.50, .922%.
Layne Young and Parker Smyth replied for the North Stars. Taryn Kotchorek made his first start of the playoffs allowing three goals on eight shots, and was replaced at the 11:04 mark by Joel Gryzbowski who made 22/26 saves the rest of the way.
Those two clubs get Easter Sunday off and that’s it, they’ll play four games in five nights total as Game 3 goes Monday in Estevan, with Game 4 Tuesday.
The Nipawin Hawks scored four powerplay goals and won a crazy see-saw affair 5-3 over Humboldt, to take a 2-0 series lead in their Best-of-Seven Semi-Final series.
The first period saw the Hawks score a pair of those powerplay goals and one short-handed, as Brandan Arnold and Tyler Adams scored with the man advantage, and Brett Harasymuk added one while on the penalty kill. Harasymuk finished with a goal and two assists, and the Hawks led 3-0 after the first period.
The Broncos stormed right back with three unanswered of their own, from Jaxon Joseph (1g-1a), Conner Lukan (1g-1a) and Bryce Fiske (1g-1a).
Logan Casavant restored the Hawks’ lead with another PP goal with 3:09 left in the second period, and that powerplay would convert one more time in the third as Grant Baetsen (1g-2a) provided some insurance with just over two minutes to play.
Declan Hobbs made 20/23 saves in the win. The series now shifts to Humboldt for Games 3 & 4 on Tuesday and Wednesday.