By Mike Stackhouse
For just the third time in the last thirty years, the Estevan Bruins are going to play for the SJHL championship in the league final series.
The Bruins, who last won the league in 1999, and have made only one other league final appearance since 1987, defeated the Battlefords North Stars 6-2 on Thursday night to win their semi-final match up 4-games-to-1.
The Bruins won the series and knocked off the defending champs by winning all three games played in North Battleford.
When the Hanbidge Cup was established in 1971, the Bruins were runner-ups in 1973 and 1974 as well as 1986. The Bruins also lost in 1992 and then won the league in 1999 when the title was known as the Membercare Cup. They’ve fallen short of a league finals appereance in every season since then.
On this night, Kaelan Holt delivered the final dagger with two goals and two assists. Jake Fletcher added a goal and an assist in finishing the series with a team high 6-goals and 3-assists. Tanner Manz, Zach Goberis, and Hayden Guilderson also scored for Estevan. Goberis and Michael McChesney both had 8-points in the series.
Layne Young and Keith Anderson scored for the North Stars, who allowed an average of 5.29 goals per game in the series.
Estevan will face either Nipawin or Humboldt for the Canalta Cup.
The Hawks are up 3-games-to-1 after a come from behind 6-5 triple overtime decision on Wednesday night.
Brandan Arnold tied the game midway through the third period as the Broncos failed to hold a 5-3 lead. Arnold’s ninth of the postseason was the winner at 45:44 of extra time.
Declan Hobbs made 57-saves in earning the win, while Jacob Wassermann stopped 53 in the loss.
Game five is Friday night in Nipawin.