It was the return of the Highway 39 Rivalry Saturday night at Crescent Point Place. While the Estevan Bruins won the game 5-1, the Weyburn Red Wings didn’t go quietly, with the two teams combining for 155 penalty minutes, 149 of those coming in the third period after four separate fights, as well as a major for goaltender interference.
The Bruins came out firing in the first period, with Aigne McGeady-Bruce scoring his second of the year at the 6:36 mark of the frame. Just 32 seconds later, the Bruins expanded the lead to 2-0, as Arthur Miller scored his 13th of the year.
Neither team was able to score in the second period, setting up a tense third period between the storied rivals.
Estevan expanded the lead to 3-0 just 33 seconds into the period when Tanner Manz notched his fourth of the year. Weyburn would respond less than a minute later.
Ben Hiltz beat Bo Didur for his 17th of the campaign, with Cole Woodliffe and Cade Kowalski getting credit for the assists.
The fisticuffs began shortly after that. Just after the five-minute mark, Jessie Young dropped the gloves with Austin King-Cunningham. Both were shown the gate, but it set the tone for the rest of the game.
Kaelen Holt notched a power-play goal for Estevan at the 13-minute mark, then more shenanigans broke out minutes later.
Michal McChesney collided with Red Wings netminder Arik Weersink with under four minutes remaining in the third. McChesney was given a five minute major for goaltender interference, and in the ensuing scuffle, Red Wings captain Mike Eskra dropped the gloves with Miller.
Just 1:40 later, Jeremy Velazquez dropped the gloves with Jake Tesarowski. It was the first time since joining the Red Wings Velazquez had engaged in any fisticuffs but held his own against the Estevan defender.
With just five seconds remaining in the game, Ty Brown then took on McGeady-Bruce off a faceoff in the Bruins zone.
After the game, Cole Woodliffe and Jevon Schwean then prevented Hayden Guilderson from the Bruins from collecting the game puck, complete with Woodliffe tossing the puck to a young fan in the stands.
The tone was set, with the two teams set to square off again Monday afternoon at Affinity Place in Estevan for the back half of the annual New Year’s home and home. The game will be broadcast live on Red Wing Radio K106, with the pregame starting at 2:50 p.m.