By Craig Stein
BOMBERS, STARS, BRONCOS KEEP PACE WITH EACH OTHER
It was a valiant effort by rookie Melville goalie Berk Berkeliev, but he didn’t have any run support Friday, as the Estevan Bruins out-shot Melville 49-15 in a 2-0 win over the Millionaires.
Bruins’ goalie Kadin Kilpatrick stopped all 15 for his second shutout in seven nights. Tristyn DeRoose opened the scoring with a powerplay goal with less than four minutes left in the second period, and Johnny Witzke added a late empty-netter.
The win lifts the Bruins (26-21-2-1) four points up on Yorkton for the Viterra Division lead.
Berkeliev made 47/48 saves for the Millionaires (15-26-4-3), who are now two points up on Weyburn for the final playoff spot.
Chrystopher Collin went into Friday’s home game with 17 goals on the season, and finished with 21, scoring four times as the Flin Flon Bombers held off the La Ronge Ice Wolves 5-4.
That’s 30 wins on the season now for the Bombers (30-15-1-2), who remain tied with Humboldt and Battlefords, who both also won on Friday. The three teams jump past Melfort into a 4th place tie. The Mustangs, who were off Friday, drop from 4th to 7th, one point back of the back. That sets up a huge game Saturday as Melfort’s in Flin Flon.
Caleb Franklin also scored on Saturday while Caleb Moretz had three assists Jacob Delorme made 34/38 saves.
The Ice Wolves (10-38-1-1) made a game of it late after the Bombers led 3-0 in the first period and 4-1 in the second. Zach Bannister (1g-1a), Dalton Dosko and Jake Gudjonson all scored in the third period, and Antoine Dumoulin got them on the board. Jordan Frey made 55/60 saves.
La Ronge stays on the road Saturday as they visit Nipawin.
The Battlefords North Stars scored multiple goals in each period in a 7-4 win over the Yorkton Terriers to keep pace with Flin Flon and Humboldt.
Elijah Loon-Stewardson had two goals and an assist, while his brother Quinton also scored and added a helper. MacGregor Sinclair (2g-1a) and Dayton Heino (3a) added three point nights. Braydon Buziak chipped in a goal and an assist, and defenseman Seth Summers added his first goal of the season for the Stars (27-13-5-4).
Chantz Petruic (2g-1a) and Cody Bruchkowski (1g-2a) each had three points to lead the Terriers (25-23-1-0) and Colby Brandt added a goal and an assist. Yorkton’s now four points back of Estevan for the Viterra lead, with a game in hand, and still tied for 8th overall with Notre Dame.
Yorkton’s in Kindersley on Saturday while the Stars get the night off before heading to Nipawin Sunday.
Michael Clarke scored his 25th goal of the season, added two assists and the shootout winner as the Humboldt Broncos won their sixth in a row, 5-4 (SO) over the Weyburn Red Wings.
Brayden Camrud (1g-1a) also scored in the shootout. Logan Foster and Drew Warkentine also found the net for the Broncos (30-16-2-1).
Dawson McKenzie, Jacob Piller, Tyran Brown and Connor Pyne replied for the Red Wings (15-28-4-0), whose single point gets them to within two points of Melville for the 10th and final playoff spot.
The Wings and Broncos do battle in Humboldt again on Saturday.