The Eagle Drilling Estevan Bruins flexed their scoring muscle in a home and home sweep over the Melville Millionaires to start the 2010-11 SJHL season. The Bruins walked into the Melville Stadium on Thursday and downed the Mils 6-4, before crushing them 7-3 in the home opener on Saturday.
The two games were heated affairs with the teams combining for 158 penalty minutes, including four fights. There were also a lot of goals scored throughout the two games and for the Bruins it was a balanced attack, something that head coach Karry Biette was very happy with.
"I think we had six different goal scorers in the first game, and seven different goal scorers tonight," said Biette after Saturday's home win. "I like scoring, but balanced scoring I love, and it's hard to get, so I'm really happy with our offence."
Richard Hubscher, Lucas Stubel, Ryan Anderson, Tyler Spencer, Dylan Smith and Ty Ariss scored for Estevan on Thursday, while Smith, Mark Cross, Kyle Johnson, Troy Hunter, Dominic Perrault, Ryan Ostertag, and Ward Szucki found the back of the net on Saturday.
While scoring obviously was not a problem for the Bruins, defence was in question in Melville on Thursday night. Estevan had some defensive miscues and gave up four goals, but Biette said they were able to sort things out before the second game.
"Two or their three goals were scrambles in front of the net and the other one, I bet Danyluk would like to have back, so we didn't have a whole bunch of breakdowns," he said.
"In the second and third period, we really shut the door defensively, we really played well, the guys are doing the things we taught them in practice and it's nice to watch."
The turning point on Saturday came in the second period when the Bruins penalty kill showed its mettle, killing off a full two minute 5-on-3.
"It could have been a different hockey game right there. If they go 5-4, then you're on the ropes so it was a huge kill and they did an excellent job and I'm glad that we worked on it (the penalty kill) on Friday because it paid off," said Biette.
As the game wore on, the Bruins and Millionaires became increasingly irritated with each other and things got quite chippy. Scrums were forming after almost every whistle, with the odd punch thrown, but referee Graig Whitehead let a lot of things go, and Biette said that suits him just fine.
"I'm OK with consistency, and he was consistent. He let a lot go, we played hockey. I was pretty happy with the game he called but it did get chippy and there was a couple scraps and I don't mind that kind of hockey," said Biette.
Halfway through the second, Ariss took exception to Roger Tagoona firing the puck at the Bruins net, well after the play had been blown dead. Ariss immediately dropped his gloves and engaged in a spirited fight with the Melville forward, another thing Biette said he likes to see from his team.
"We stood up well, and that was probably my favorite thing about the game, is we played as a hockey team. We stood up for each other and that's certainly a good sign to start the season."
The Bruins will try to build off their strong start this weekend with a pair of games against Notre Dame. The Bruins and Hounds will do battle in Wilcox on Friday night and then again in Estevan on Saturday. Both games are at 7:30 p.m.