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Returning and new players put on a show at Estevan Bruins training camp

The Estevan Bruins hosted their training camp on the weekend.
Estevan Bruins pic
Estevan Bruin players showcased their abilities during the club’s annual training camp on the weekend.

ESTEVAN - The Estevan Bruins took the first steps in what they hope will be a banner season by hosting their annual training camp on the weekend. 

Nearly 40 players were on the ice during the weekend, with a mix between first year players, returning veterans and prospects. And since the Bruins will be hosting the 2022 Centennial Cup national junior A hockey championship, presented by Tim Hortons, there were lots of athletes on the ice who have been brought in for this season. 

“Some of the players that we recruited, they’re pretty much what we expected and maybe a little bit better than we thought,” said head coach and general manager Jason Tatarnic. 

There was a scrimmage on Saturday morning, and then the players were divided for the Black-Gold game, which Black won 9-4. Then there was another on-ice session for Sunday. 

Tatarnic said he likes having smaller camps, because he gets to focus on the players and give them a good evaluation.  

“I normally like to have two teams at my main camp,” said Tatarnic. “You can have some of your young prospects there and some guys that are fighting for spots. It just makes things easier for you. It gives guys plenty of opportunity to prove themselves.”  

Four offseason acquisitions – forwards Olivier Pouliot, Mikol Sartor, Mark Rumsey and Eric Houk – were among the standouts, Tatarnic said.

Goaltender Boston Bilous, who was with the Bruins last season, also looked very good. 

As for the returning players, they all impressed and have taken a step in the right direction for this season.  

“It’s going to allow us to be a very balanced hockey team,” said Tatarnic. 

Defenceman Alex Von Sprecken and forward Cody Davis, who are local products in their third seasons with the Bruins, looked very good, Tatarnic said. 

As for the prospects, Tatarnic was pleased with the play of two other Estevan players, goaltender Jackson Miller and forward Carter Onrait. 

“There was definitely some players that are capable of providing some offence for you, but at the same time, we’re really happy with the defence corps. We thought they did a good job. That’s a group that’s going to get better and better as we go,” said Tatarnic.

A number of other players weren’t able to make it for camp, and Tatarnic is looking forward to getting a look at them.  

“Almost everyone’s here that’s available to us,” said Tatarnic.  

The club wanted to have camp earlier than normal because some kids didn’t play hockey last season due to COVID-19 restrictions, and the Bruins wanted to get them on the ice to shake off the rust, get them excited to play again and allow them to see how the Bruins operate.  

It also gives the players a chance to build chemistry.  

“You have to be a good teammate, and part of that is to get to know your teammates, and this gives them that opportunity,” said Tatarnic.  

The club has continued to have two scrimmages a day. They will take the weekend off and resume practices on Monday.

The Bruins have announced that two players who were part of last year’s team – forwards Mason Strutt and Erik Boers – won’t be back this season, as they will be going to post-secondary education.  But there is still a good contingent of players back from last year’s team that started 4-1-1 before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the season.  



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