WEYBURN - The Estevan Bruins and the Weyburn Red Wings played Monday night in Weyburn in the regular season finale for both teams, and while the game didn’t change anything in terms of playoff seeding, it still had a little extra meaning besides pride and a desire to win.
The Bruins defeated the Wings 4-2 to win the Highway 39 Cup, which was created in 2021 by Estevan Police Chief Rich Lowen and his Weyburn counterpart, Jamie Blunden. The two knew each other from their days working with the Winnipeg Police Service.
This year’s Highway 39 Cup was based on the six regular season matchups between the two teams. Each club won three times, but Estevan won the tie-breaker because of an overtime loss, so they finished with seven points in the head-to-head meetings, while Weyburn had six.
Blunden had to don an Estevan Bruins’ jersey after the game, and will eventually have to wear it again.
Keagon Little scored 84 seconds into Monday’s game to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead. Weyburn tied the game just over three minutes later on a goal by Ryley Morgan, who was a finalist for the league’s MVP award.
The game remained tied until the third, when Salvatore Collora and Brady Wilson scored power-play goals to put Estevan up 3-1.
Ty Mason – the son of former Estevan Bruin Willy Mason – pulled Weyburn to within one with less than five minutes to play. Weyburn poured on the pressure in the final minutes, but Bruins’ goaltender Cam Hrdlicka made some great saves to preserve the lead.
Owen Barrow sealed the victory with 16 seconds remaining.
Hrdlicka made 26 saves on the night. Dazza Mitchell had 20 stops for Weyburn.
Estevan finished the regular season with a 28-23-3-2 record and 61 points. They will play the Flin Flon Bombers in the first round of the playoffs, starting Friday night in Flin Flon.
Weyburn, meanwhile, wound up 26-27-2-1, good for 56 points, and will face the Battlefords North Stars in round 1, beginning Friday night in North Battleford.