By Craig Stein
The SJHL points scoring race was locked up long ago by Battlefords forward Layne Young, but the goal scoring is very much still up for grabs with just a game or two remaining.
Young leads the way there as well with 35, but on Wednesday, Estevan’s Zach Goberis scored twice, to put him just one back at 34, he led the Bruins to a 5-3 win over the Melville Millionaires.
The two teams meet again Friday in Estevan to close out the regular season, so Goberis still has a chance to catch or even surpass Young. Young and the Stars still have two games left, Thursday at home against Kindersley and Friday in Nipawin. With the Stars’ fate sealed as the #2 overall seed, there’s a realistic chance they may not dress their ‘A’ lineup for either or both games.
Also on Wednesday, Hayden Guilderson and Jake Fletcher each had a goal and two assists, while Jake Tesarowski added a goal and an assist. Kaelan Holt added two assists and Bo Didur made 22/25 saves.
The Bruins (33-19-3-2) are the #3 seed in the playoffs and will face #6 Kindersley in a Best-of-Seven Quarter-Final beginning next weekend. With Friday’s return match in Melville there is a second layer of playoff race, as another Estevan win would give them one more point than Humboldt. That has no effect on the Quarter-Finals, but in the Semis, the teams are re-seeded by points, meaning the Bruins would still have a chance to be seeded higher than Humboldt in the Semis, should both teams make it that far.
Clayton Eisler had three assists for the Millionaires (23-30-2-2), while Eric Soar, Logan Foster and Dayton Heino all added a goal and an assist. Melville will finish 10th in the standings and play the 7th place finisher in the Wild Card series. As of now, that’s Notre Dame, but if Weyburn wins Friday in Yorkton, the Wings would take on the Millionaires. Whoever finishes 8th will take on Flin Flon in the other Wild Card.