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Estevan Bruins season comes to an end in a 4-0 loss to the Brooks Bandits

Estevan was the top team in the league during the regular season, and won its first SJHL championship since 1999
Bruins season comes to an end
The Estevan Bruins acknowledge their fans after Wednesday's season-ending loss.

ESTEVAN - The Estevan Bruins' season came to an end Wednesday night in a 4-0 loss to the Brooks Bandits at the Centennial Cup presented by Tim Hortons.  

Brooks jumped out to a 1-0 lead 22 seconds into the game on a goal by Ryan McAllister, who was recently named the MVP of the Canadian Junior Hockey League. The Bandits doubled the advantage when Noah Hackett scored.

The Bruins switched goalies after Hackett's goal, replacing Boston Bilous with Cam Hrdlicka.

Estevan did have some chances to score, but the Bruins were outshot 16-7 in the first period.

After a power outage midway through the second period delayed the game for about 25 minutes, the teams returned and the Bruins came out strong, recording 10 shots in the final 12 minutes. Hrdlicka made some great saves for Estevan, too.

But it would be McAllister scoring for Brooks with less than two minutes to play in the frame.

Estevan pressed to get on the board in the third period, but couldn't beat Ethan Barwick. Defenceman Dayton Deics had likely the best chance to score a few minutes into the third.

Brooks' Anthony Cipollone had the lone goal in the third with three minutes to play. 

With a minute to play and Hrdlicka pulled, the Bruins put their six graduating skaters dressed Wednesday night - Deics, and forwards Mark Rumsey, Olivier Pouliot, Eric Pearce, Mikol Sartor and captain Eric Houk - on the ice to applause from the fans. (Bilous was on the bench and the other graduate, defenceman Nolan Jones, was suspended). Once the game was over, fans broke out into chants of "Let's go Bruins." 

They continued to cheer this year's team through the post-game handshakes between the two teams. The Bruins then acknowledge their fans. 

Ethan Barwick made 30 saves for Brooks. Bilous stopped five of seven shots, while Hrdlicka made 24 saves on 26 shots. 

The Bruins are the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League champions in addition to being the host team for the national junior A hockey championship. With a 1-3 record and three points, they will not advance to the tournament's playoffs.

Estevan's league title was their first since 1999, and they also won the regular season crown for the first time since 2005.

The Bandits, meanwhile, are 4-0 and will finish first in Pool A. They will get a bye to the semifinals.

Outgoing SJHL commissioner Bill Chow was recognized before the game. Speeches were made saluting Chow's commitment to the sport, and he was named a life member in the CJHL. Then Chow dropped the puck for the ceremonial opening face-off. will have updates after each period. 


A power outage delayed the game between the Estevan Bruins and the Brooks Bandits at the Centennial Cup, presented by Tim Hortons. 

The power went out in the arena at about 8:45 p.m. local time, with the Bandits leading the host Bruins 2-0 with 12:05 to play in the second period. It came on again at 9:10 p.m.

The teams returned to the ice for a brief warm-up to cheers from the fans who waited for the outage to end. 

There were no other immediate details on the power failure or the cause of the outage, but other areas in the north side of the community were also reportedly without electricity. SaskPower said crews had been dispatched and were trying to determine the cause of the outage. 

The Mercury has reached out to SaskPower for more information.

This is not the first time the Bruins have encountered a power failure this season. During Game 2 of the SJHL final against the Flin Flon Bombers in April, power went out to Affinity Place twice due to a power snowstorm that struck the area. Thanks to the efforts of SaskPower crews, power was restored and the game resumed.