It was the first SJHL playoff game since the April 6th bus crash which tragically claimed 16 lives including 10 Humboldt Broncos players.
The Estevan Bruins and Nipawin Hawks came together as one at centre ice prior to puck drop at The Cage, as they honoured those who lost their lives and remain in hospital, before getting the championship series underway.
The Hawks outshot the Bruins 44-33 but Bo Didur made 41 saves in goal for Estevan as the Bruins took the opener by a score of 5-2.
Nipawin led the game twice as Josh McDougall opened the scoring just 4:07 in, and Jordan Simoneau made it 2-1 early in the second. The Bruins answered both times - Kaelan Holt evened things up in the first frame, and Jayden Davis squared it at 2-2, the first of four unanswered Hawks goals. Arthur Miller added some insurance late in the second, before Michael McChesney and Zach Goberis tacked on empty-netters in the final two minutes of play.
Declan Hobbs made 28/31 saves in goal for Nipawin and was one the bench for the two late ones.
Game 2 goes Sunday night in Nipawin before the series shifts to Estevan Tuesday and Wednesday.