Two of the SJHL’s most offensively productive teams produced very little offense on Friday, November 30 when the Estevan Bruins played the Flin Flon Bombers. The Bombers produced just the little bit more required to win, however.
Grant Boldt made 31 saves on 32 shots while Pierce Diamond stopped all 26 shots he faced as Flin Flon earned a narrow 1-0 win. Tyler Higgins scored the lone goal of the contest.
The Bruins outshot the Bombers 11-6 in the first period on the strength of two power plays, but failed to solve Diamond. Isaiah Thomas did manage to fire a puck past Diamond, but he found the cross bar.
At the other end, Boldt began his run of stellar play in the first, but really took off in the second. The rookie netminder made several diving saves, sprawling across the crease to deny the Bombers best shooters time and time again on three consecutive power plays for Flin Flon. Boldt also got a little help from a dedicated group of shot blockers in front of him.
It was at even strength, however, that the Bombers got the only goal they would need. After the puck rolled back to the point following another goalmouth scramble, Higgins let a shot go that flew low and hard past Boldt’s outstretched left pad. The goal, Higgins’s first as a Bomber, was the only marker of the game.
The Bruins pressed in the third period, with Thomas again getting the best look at the net. Michael McChesney took a shot off the wing that popped off Diamond’s shoulder into the slot, and Thomas rifled the rebound on goal, only to be denied again.
At the other end, Boldt continued to put on a show, making one highlight reel save in particular on a 2-on-1 between Branson Hein and Donavon Houle. Hein hit his teammate with a pass across, and Boldt followed it perfectly, stretching out to preserve the one-goal deficit.
The Bruins pulled the goalie but were unable to solve a calm and composed Diamond. The Bombers held on for a 1-0 win.
The Bruins drop their second of the four-game road trip. They fall to 1-2 on their last road swing of the year. The trip concludes on Saturday night in Melfort against the Mustangs at 7:30.
The Bruins have not won two straight games on the road since beating Melfort 9-4 on October 27 and Battlefords 2-1 in a shootout on November 9. They have not won two road games in the same week in 2018-19.
Estevan falls to 0-3 on the season against the Flin Flon Bombers, having been outscored a combined 11-4. They have already been swept by the Humboldt Broncos (0-4 on the year) and would be swept by the Bombers if they lost the final game against them.
Grant Boldt stopped over 30 shots for the second straight game. He has .968 save percentage in those two games.