ESTEVAN - The Estevan Bruins dropped a 3-2 shootout decision to the Melfort Mustangs Friday night in the Black and Gold’s final home game before the Christmas break.
The two teams were scoreless until the later stages of the second period. Hayden Tuba pinched in from the point and scored for the Mustangs with 6:28 to play in the middle frame to open the scoring. But a short time later, the Bruins had a two-man advantage, and Alex Blanchard scored on a point shot 77 seconds after Tuba’s goal to tie the game.
Estevan outshot Melfort 26-13 through two periods, and controlled the bulk of the play, but Mustangs goaltender James Venne was strong.
Kade Runke scored on a break 53 seconds into the third period to put the Bruins ahead, but Riley Ashe’s goal midway through the third deadlocked the game again.
Overtime solved nothing, thanks in large part to Bruins goaltender Cam Hrdlicka, who made five saves in the five-minute extra frame.
Melfort outscored Estevan 2-1 in the shootout, which went five rounds.
It was the sixth and final meeting of the season between the two teams, and it was a physical contest.
The Bruins (18-14-0-1) will close out the pre-Christmas portion of the schedule when they visit the Melville Millionaires on Sunday, the Yorkton Terriers on Tuesday and play the Notre Dame Hounds on Wednesday. The game against Notre Dame will be played in Carlyle and will start at 7 p.m.