courtesy of Steven Wilson, discoverweyburn.com
The Weyburn Red Wings threw almost everything they had at Estevan goaltender Matt Lukacs last night but weren’t able to beat him more than twice, as the Bruins held off Weyburn for a 4-2 victory Wednesday night. The Wings put 25 shots on Lukacs over the second and third periods, but he was able to keep the puck out of the net, including during a five-minute power play for the Wings early in the second period.
“We had 57, 60 goals out of our lineup tonight, so I’m pleased with the way the other guys stepped up and played tonight,” said Wings head coach Wes Rudy. “It was a gutsy effort, unfortunately, we came out on the wrong end of it.”
The Bruins were the first to get on the board when Zach Goberis notched his 28th of the season just before the halfway mark. The shot from the leading scorer for the Bruins was initially stopped by Liam McCloskey, but somehow trickled through and just barely crossed over the goal line.
In the second period, the rivalry reared its head before the frame was five minutes old. Bruins forward Arthur Miller was given a five minute major and a game misconduct for boarding after a blindside hit on Red Wings defenseman Carson Scheschuk. Scheschuk left the ice and didn’t return.
On the ensuing man-advantage, the top power-play unit in the league had trouble getting things going. It would be the Bruins who would eventually score, with Jayden Davis beating McCloskey on a goal which proved to be controversial.
There was no initial signal from the referee when the shot by Davis was cradled by McCloskey outside the net, but his backwards momentum moved his legs over the goal line.
While from the angle seen from the visitor’s press box allowed those on the left-hand side of McCloskey to see the puck hadn’t crossed the line before play was blown dead, the referees didn’t have a clear line of sight. They checked with the goal judge, who deemed it was a goal, and the short-handed marker would extend Estevan’s lead to 2-0.
Weyburn replied before the period was out. Coming in on a rush, Jordan Kazymyra fired the puck on net. It went over the head of Lukacs, and into the boards, bouncing right out to the top of the slot. Waiting for it was veteran forward Landon Walters, who one-timed the loose puck past the Bruins netminder for his fifth of the season.
The Bruins would start the third period off quickly, with Michael McChesney scoring on McCloskey just 40 seconds into the period. Weyburn would once again reply to pull back within a goal.
At the 11:51 mark of the third, the Wings found themselves once again on the power play, their sixth of the game. This time, they would get on the board right off the bat. The faceoff to start the power play was to the right of Lukacs, and centre Sean Olson won the draw back to Weyburn captain Mike Eskra. He let a shot go, which made its way through the traffic, and over the shoulder of Lukacs.
With the deficit reduced to just one, the Wings poured everything they had at Lukacs, who managed to keep everything out, including a number of point-blank opportunities. It would be the Bruins who would end up scoring though, when McChesney recorded his second of the night with an empty-netter with just 13 seconds left on the clock.
With the loss, the Wings are now seven points back of the Bruins for first in the Viterra Division. The two teams have eight games remaining each, with three of those games against each other.