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Bomber Game Report: Flin Flon enters holidays with 4-0 La Ronge rivalry win

The Bombers gave fans a pair of early Christmas gifts Saturday night - a shutout win at home and a nine-strong winning streak.
Bomber Game Report

The Bombers gave fans a pair of early Christmas gifts Saturday night - a shutout win at home and a nine-strong winning streak.

Flin Flon handed the La Ronge Ice Wolves a stocking full of coal and picked up a 4-0 win in their last game before the holiday break.

The Bombers got off to a hot start, pelting goalie Topher Chirico in his second start against Flin Flon in as many nights, but Chirico - for the first period, at least, was up to the task.

One recurring theme through the first period was the battle between Flin Flon's Matt Egan and La Ronge's Max Henderson - early in the period, Egan took a hit away from the play from Henderson that took him down and forced a stoppage. Once Egan got up, he tried taking a pound of flesh off Henderson, but he'd have to wait a while first. Later in the period, after a stoppage, Egan dropped the mitts and fed Henderson a few punches, needing to be restrained by officials. Both players were given five minutes and game misconducts for their tilt, while Egan got an extra minor for an instigator penalty.

Emotions ran high for the rest of the night, with Jacob Cossette catching a double-minor for a knee-on-knee hit on Flin Flon's Adam McNutt, then Bomber Ashton Paul getting kicked from the game for a check from behind on La Ronge's William Forsberg.

While almost no offence took place in the opening frame, that wouldn't stay the same in the second. Koen Senft jumped on an Ice Wolves turnover and fed Alexi Sylvestre out front, who made no mistake and opened the scoring. Justin Lies then got a chance to extend the lead with a penalty shot and was stopped by Chirico, but he made it 2-0 anyway with an individual effort with four minutes to go in the second that did beat the netminder.

Forsberg got a double-minor of his own for a knee-on-knee on Riley Niven and Flin Flon made one of the SJHL's most penalized teams pay with a powerplay goal. Carter Anderson fired a bullet so hard off the post and past Chirico, making it 3-0 Bombers after 40.

More hijinks took place near the end of the second period, where both La Ronge's Jacob Hufty and McNutt were called after a collision near the Bomber blueline - McNutt for interference, Hufty for a slash that caught McNutt across the hand and appeared to injure him. Bomber fans were not pleased with the calls, leading officials to order at least one fan to be ejected from the rink.

Flin Flon consolidated the game late in the third, with Anthony Piccininno burning Hufty wide, dangling around Chirico and scoring his 11th of the season. That goal put the outcome far from doubt, gave Flin Flon their ninth-straight win and gave the Bombers five wins in five games against the Ice Wolves.

Kenny Marquart cruised to a 24-save shutout win, while Chirico stopped 53 saves on the night.

The Bombers will go into the holiday break atop the SJHL standings with 58 points in 31 games and a 28-1-2-0 record, 11 points ahead of second-place Battlefords and Melfort despite playing one and three games fewer respectively. Flin Flon has won nine straight games and has at least one point in 16 straight games, missing out on a point only once through 31 games.

Flin Flon also can give the Ice Wolves a season-sweep in their sixth and final meeting of the year at home March 8.

Lies has both the league point and goal-scoring lead at the break with 27 goals and 51 points in 30 games, while four other Bombers - Sylvestre, Jacob Vockler, Noah Houle and Anderson - are in the top seven in league scoring.

The Bombers will return to action at the Whitney Forum Jan. 5 against the Nipawin Hawks.

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