The Battlefords North Stars were all over the Estevan Bruins Saturday night at Affinity Place, but they were stonewalled by netminder Bo Didur again and again and lost the contest 4-3 in regulation.
"It's a tough way to lose," North Stars assistant coach Boyd Wakelin said after the game. "I thought that was one of the best games we've played in the last while. Guys were going to the net. We controlled the majority of the play. The shots kind of tell the tale....We played in their end most of the night."
The final shots on goal favoured the visitors 49-20.
"It's always annoying and frustrating when you're not putting them past him as much as you'd like," Wakelin said. "We did put three past him. I think that's a pretty good number in our league. If you only give up 20 shots [and] if you put three behind him, usually you're going to win."
The North Stars also repeatedly came back from one-goal deficits.
They trailed 1-0, 2-1, and 3-2, and managed to tie it each time, first, courtesy of Chaseton Braid, then thanks to Brad Girard, and finally off the stick of captain Layne Young.
"We've seen that attitude from our guys all year," Wakelin said, of the team's resiliency. "Props to them for not rolling over."
T.J. Irey led the Bruins offensively with two goals, while Zach Goberis had the game-winner with 4:07 to go in the third, breaking a 3-3 deadlock on a 2-on-2 rush.
Jaydon Davis also scored for Estevan.
Wakelin said there were a few breakdowns that cost the North Stars.
"[With] those odd-man rushes, sometimes guys are just getting a little too excited on the forecheck," he said. "There are things we can fix, like communication. If you're the last guy back, you should just be screaming at the high guy to stay high."
The North Stars continue their southern swing on Sunday with a matinee in Willcox against the Notre Dame Hounds.
Puck drop is set for 4:30 p.m.
On Twitter: @NathanKanter11
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