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Estevan Bruins trail Melfort 2-0 in SJHL playoff series

Games 3 and 4 will be played in Estevan.
The Estevan Bruins are down 2-0 in their series with Melfort. File photo.

MELFORT - The Estevan Bruins dropped the first two games of their SJHL quarter-final series with the Melfort Mustangs.

Melfort won Game 1 5-1 on Friday night and Game 2 7-4 on Saturday to lead 2-0 in the best-of-seven clash.

Melfort's Nolan Roberts opened the scoring 4:30 into the first period of Game 1, just moments after a missed call in which Bruins' defenceman Holdin Getzlaf was hit by a Melfort foe. The Bruins tied the game when Owen Barrow scored with less than a second to play in the opening frame.

Melfort took over in the second, with Leith Olafson and Aidyn Hutchinson scoring to give Melfort a 3-1 lead. Chase Friedt-Mohr and Ryan Duguay tallied in the third to put the game away.

Jackson Miller stopped 26 shots for the Bruins, while James Venne made 19 saves for Melfort.

Cade Kennedy opened the scoring 13 seconds into the first period for the Bruins in Game 2, but Hutchinson tied the game just over two minutes later, and Friedt-Mohr and Duguay tallied to put Melfort up by two by the end of the first. Hutchinson had the lone goal of the second period.

Each team scored three times in the third. Nolan Patterson scored a short-handed goal early in the third for Melfort, but goals by Ilia Chmelevski and Felix Allard less than two minutes apart pulled the Bruins to within two. Goals by Brayden Westerlund and Hutchinson put Melfort up by four, and Alexander Papaspyropoulos rounded out the scoring late in the third for Estevan. Papaspyropoulos (a goal and three assists) and Hutchinson (three goals and an assist) each had four-point games for their respective teams.

A line brawl broke out with 3:37 to play in the third, with four players from each team receiving fighting majors. No disciplinary action was immediately announced.

Bruins' captain Keagon Little was back in Estevan's line-up on Saturday after serving a five-game suspension, stemming from an incident in Flin Flon in early March.

Miller started for the Bruins and made 16 saves on 20 shots. Wyatt Bouvier came in and gave up one goal on 11 shots; the other Melfort goals were into empty nets.

Venne had 23 saves for Melfort.

Game 3 is set for Tuesday night and Game 4 is the next night. Both contests will be in Estevan and start at 7 p.m.

Game 5, if necessary, would be March 29 in Melfort. Game 6 would be March 31 in Estevan and Game 7 would be April 2 in Melfort.