It’s hard to believe the Estevan Bruins first round playoff series with the Flin Flon Bombers ended the way it did.
Tied at 1-1 in Game 7 in the early stages of overtime at the Whitney Forum in Flon Flon, Bombers top sniper Cole Duperreault routinely dumped the puck into the Estevan zone during a Flin Flon powerplay.
Bruins goaltender Cam Hrdlicka motioned out of his net, anticipating that the puck would ride the boards and slide behind his net.
Instead, the puck took a wild carom off the stanchion, which is commonplace at the famous Flin Flon rink, and bounced towards the Bruin net. Hrdlicka couldn’t react in time, and it bounced past him on the blocker side and into the net.
It was a heartbreaking way for the season to end for the Bruins, who went toe to toe with Flin Flon all series and all night in Game 7.
Estevan’s Kade Runke and Flin Flon’s Ethan Mercer traded goals in the second period.
The Bombers once again outshot the Bruins 41-26. Hrdlicka was excellent yet again.
And so the Bruins season ends a little earlier this year, while the Bombers move on to play the Humboldt Broncos.
There will be a new SJHL champion in 2023.