The 2021-2022 SJHL Playoffs kicked off Friday night and the 1 vs 8 matchup started at 7:00 in Estevan, half an hour before everyone else, but ended well over an hour after the final horn went in the other three arenas as the 8th place Notre Dame Hounds stunned the top seeded Estevan Bruins 4-3 in double overtime in Game 1 of their series.
Defenseman Sam Kroon scored with less than five minutes left in double OT as the Hounds ended Game 1 just before 11:00 PM.
Austin Elliott was the first star of the game making 52/55 saves in over 95 minutes of work. Elliot Dutil and Oliver Band scored first period goals for Notre Dame giving them a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes, and Will Dawson made it 3-2 Hounds late in the second.
Mark Rumsey forced overtime for Estevan, scoring with 4:08 to play after his league-leading 39-goal regular season. Kade Runke opened the scoring for the Bruins while Kian Calden scored in the second period, and Boston Bilous made 32/36 saves.
The La Ronge Ice Wolves held 1-0 and 4-3 leads on the road, but the second place Humboldt Broncos scored three straight third period goals to take the opener of their SJHL Quarter-Final series, 6-4 over the visiting Ice Wolves.
Holden Knights opened the scoring for La Ronge on the road just over a minute in, and his second of the night came in the middle of three straight Ice Wolves’ goals in the second period helping the Ice Wolves take the lead through 40 minutes. Knight added an assist to finish with a three point night while Brandon Della Paolera and Mkyllan Couture added singles. Xavier Cannon made 40/45 saves.
Rhett Gibson scored twice for Humboldt, including a powerplay goal 1:48 into the third period to tie the game. Braiden Koran (1g-1a) and Alex Morozoff scored first period goals, while the winner came off the stick of Alec Saretzky with just 1:22 left in regulation, and Nicksha Eric added an empty netter. Rayce Ramsey, following his record 41 win regular season, made 21/25 saves in the series opener.
Battlefords captain Ryland McNinch kicked off the North Stars’ playoff run with a hat trick, leading his club to a 7-3 decision over the visiting Flin Flon Bombers. Defenseman Sam Witt racked up four assists, Jake Southgate had a goal and two assists, while Dylan Esau (1g-1a), Steven Kesserling (1g-1a) and Matthew Henry all added goals. The Stars were actually heavily out-shot 50-33, with Michael Harroch stopping 47 shots.
Gabriel Shipper had a goal and a helper for the Bombers in the loss, and they opened the scoring in each period including Mason Kaspick who gave them the 1-0 lead in the first. Jacob Vockler also picked up his first of the post season.
Clarke Huxley opened the scoring, and finished it off with a short-handed marker, scoring twice to lead the Melfort Mustangs to a 4-1 win in Game 1 of their SJHL Quarter-Final over Yorkton.
Thomas Moore and Zac Somers also scored for the Mustangs, who kept the Terriers at arm’s length for much of the night, building 3-0 and 4-1 leads in the first two periods before a scoreless third. Joel Favreau stopped 27 of the 28 shots he faced in his first SJHL playoff start.
Defenseman Tanner Sklaruk scored the for the Terriers and rookie goalie Kael DePape made 27/31 saves.
Game 2 of all four Quarter-Finals go Saturday night in the same location as Friday before they all shift scenes on Tuesday.