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Bomber Game Report: Battle of the north goes to shootout, but Flin Flon gets 3-2 W

It took a late comeback and bonus hockey to do it, but the Bombers earned a second win in the battle of northern Manitoba, beating OCN 3-2 in a shootout.
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Bomber Game Report

It took a late comeback and bonus hockey to do it, but the Bombers earned a second win in the battle of northern Manitoba, beating OCN 3-2 in a shootout.

Friday's rivalry matchup was made even more interesting with the presence of new storylines. The Blizzard suited up Drayden Kurbatoff, who was invited to the Bombers' training camp last year and made the team out of camp before being dealt. On the other side, the Bombers played Cheechoo Lathlin, a prize defensive prospect from OCN who played with the Blizzard last season who left the club over the offseason, joining Flin Flon.

On top of that, both teams played goalies who were teammates last season in Nipawin. The Blizzard played Chase Hamm, the Hawks' former starter who OCN acquired in the offseason. For Flin Flon, the recently-acquired Harmon Laser-Hume suited up, only hours after the Bombers acquired the 2003-born B.C. native for a player development fee.

Coming hot on the heels of a 10-4 beatdown by the Bombers earlier this week, OCN tripped out of the gate, allowing the Bombers to strike first. Jaeden Mercier scored three-and-a-half minutes in - with an assist from Lathlin, no less - to give Flin Flon a lead. That lead would last through the period, a period in which the Bombers outshot the Blizzard 10-2.

OCN would take time to get going in the second, but would tie the game on a goal by Riley Zimmerman, then get the lead on a goal by hometown player Laz Constant. The Blizzard had only four shots through the first 34:04 of the game, but scored twice.

That lead would carry on through into the late third, but the Bombers would tie things up, courtesy of Cole Duperreault, who popped home his fourth goal in two nights to make it 2-2. Regulation time would solve nothing - 3-on-3 overtime would be needed.

In the 3-on-3, the Bombers had the best chance to end things with a 3-on-1 play - it went awry, leading moments later to a Bomber penalty. Kaden Kohle took an ill-timed hooking call with 20 seconds to go, putting the Blizzard up on a 4-on-3 powerplay, but the Bombers would kill it off, forcing a shootout.

OCN went first with John Kremer, who was stopped by Laser-Hume. Mercier, who had scored the game's first goal, was the Bombers' first shooter - he went high on Hamm and scored. Constant was given the next chance for the Blizzard but was stopped by Laser-Hume, giving Duperreault the chance to end the game - which he did, sliding the puck past Hamm to give Flin Flon a 3-2 win.

Hamm stopped 43 of 45 shots on the night for the Blizzard in a losing cause. Laser-Hume made only 11 saves in an inauspicious Bomber debut, but ended up with the victory.

The game ends the preseason for both clubs. The Bombers will take a week before their season- and home-opener on Sept. 16, when the Bombers face the Melfort Mustangs.