Two teams neck and neck in the standings played a fittingly close game on Friday, January 11 at Duncan McNeil Arena. When the dust settled between the Estevan Bruins and Notre Dame Hounds, Notre Dame had once again won the goaltenders duel.
Riley Kohonick made 33 saves and Marshall Wilton scored the winning goal as the Hounds downed the Bruins for the third time this year by a 2-0 score. Grant Boldt turned in a good effort for Estevan, stopping 29 of 31, but it wasn’t enough as the Bruins were shut out for the third time in 2018-19.
The two teams traded shots but no goals in the first period, despite good chances at both ends. The best chances came from Wilton, and in the second period he at last made good on an opportunity. A point shot changed direction on its way to the Bruins goal, and while Boldt made the reaction save, the rebound popped straight to Wilton, who made no mistake from in close.
That goal would prove to be all the scoring the Hounds would need. The Bruins weren’t lacking for chances, including a shorthanded breakaway by Tanner Manz, but couldn’t solve Kohonick.
The third period had a faster pace than either of the first two. It started out at 3-on-3 and the back-and-forth play never let up. The two teams seemed content to go end-to-end, and a goal seemed certain.
It was the Hounds who scored it. A three-way passing play between Wilton, Jarrett Penner, and Jakob Breault ended up in the back of the Bruins net. Penner appeared to lose the puck on the poke-check, but he refused to take no for an answer and knocked it to Breault, who finished on the backhand.
The Bruins did not go quietly, pressing late with the goalie pulled, but though they had several good chances both off the rush and the cycle, Kohonick stayed in control. The Bruins fall to 0-3 on the year against Notre Dame, having suffered at the hands of a hot goalie all three times.
A chance at revenge comes soon for the Bruins, who take on the Hounds again at Affinity Place on Saturday night. Puck drop is 7:30.
The Bruins are 0-3 on the year against Notre Dame, and have been outscored 11-5 in those three games. In all three games, the opposing goalie has been named first star.
Notre Dame is the third team to shut out the Bruins this year, following Nipawin and Flin Flon. All three shutouts against have come on the road.
TJ Irey returned to the lineup for the first time since December 15. Both he and Will Koop have returned from long-term injuries this week. Irey played with Bryce Platt and Turner Ripplinger.