Skip to content

Bomber Game Report: Flin Flon goes back to back on defending champs

The Bombers went two for two on the weekend, getting sweet revenge on Estevan with a 3-1 Saturday night win.
Bomber Game Report

The Bombers went two for two on the weekend, getting sweet revenge on Estevan with a 3-1 Saturday night win.

In a game where both teams kept a consistent march to and from the penalty box, the Bombers came back from an early deficit to snag victory from the jaws of defeat.

Flin Flon went down early, in more ways than one - barely a minute into the game, Ethan Mercer was ejected from the game for a check from behind on Jagjeevan Phangura. Phangura, who turned into the check, was unharmed and would stay in the game, but Mercer would spend the rest of the night on the sidelines. 

Back and forth physical play would mark the rest of the period, along with plenty of after-whistle extracurriculars. Estevan's Kade Runke and Flin Flon's Reece Richmond would each get ten-minute misconducts for a post-play skirmish, along with penalties on Bruins Cody Davis and Aleksa Babic. Flin Flon had a five-on-three - but with powerplay quarterback Richmond in the box and Noah Houle in the press box after suffering a late check from behind Friday night, the Bombers couldn't convert.

That lack of finish bit the home team hard soon after. With Liam Bridger in the Bomber box on a boarding call, Phangura would take a high-slot wrist shot that would sneak through traffic and past Harmon Laser-Hume. The Bomber goalie protested the goal, saying Bruin Mitch Kohner had interfered with him, but the goal stood.

That goal would be the only one of the first, giving the Bruins a 1-0 lead at intermission - and they would start the second on the powerplay after a Jeremi Tremblay cross-check and misconduct late in the frame.

The second period brought changes in both the scoreboard and the penalty box - the penalty pendulum swung to the Bruins, who would take six penalties in the period. Those penalties cost the visitors, as Cole Duperreault would tie the game up midway through the second on a powerplay, catching a seam pass and belting home a one-time goal - number 32 on the year for him.

The Bruins' penalty luck stayed rotten later in the frame, with Salvatore Collora cross-checking Kylynn Olafson into the boards from behind, drawing an angry crowd of Bombers. Collora was kicked out for the check - Olafson stayed in the game. More hitting, this time of the clean but big variety, came from the Bombers - first, Richmond laying out Davis with an open-ice check, then Joey Lies nailing Kaelen Whittingham.

Estevan's bad luck got even worse late in the second, with an embarrassing self-inflicted gaffe putting the Bombers ahead. Bruin Robbie Stewart, attempting to clear the zone from behind his net, accidentally got the puck caught in goalie Cam Hrdlicka's skates. The puck would be stopped next to the left post on the goal line, but Jacob Vockler, tight on the forecheck, would pick that puck up and push it into the net behind Hrdlicka. That mistake would put the Bombers up 2-1, a lead they'd take into the third.

The physical play continued in the final frame, with Alex Von Sprecken taking a boarding call against his former teammates and Mitch Kohner returning the favour soon after with another penalty - on top of a bench minor against the Bruins. Estevan's march to the box would continue with five straight penalties, mostly through the middle of the frame.

The Bombers thought they'd extended their lead halfway through the period, with Alexi Sylestre putting the puck into the crease and Matt Egan bulldozing the puck into the net - the goal light went on, but the officials called the goal off, saying there was a whistle before the puck passed the goal line.

Sylvestre would get the last laugh with six minutes to go. With the Bombers buzzing around the Estevan crease, Hrdlicka - for the second consecutive game - lost his glove in the crease and was hit after Stewart hit Olafson and both players fell into the goalie, knocking him out of the net. That gave Sylvestre a wide-open net, which he scored on with a wrap-around move. Hrdlicka would argue he'd been interfered with, with other Bruins arguing that the goal should be waved off like one in the game a night earlier when Hrdlicka lost his glove, but the referees stayed with the original call.

The Bruins pulled Hrdlicka with 4:21 left on the clock, but the Bombers would continue on. Richmond would battle with Keagon Little and end up with a deep cut on his chin, taking him out of the game briefly for repairs and a new jersey - his current one needed replacing after being covered in blood from his wound. The defender would come back for the end of the game. Estevan would force chances of their own late in the game, but the Bomber defence would stand tall, ending with two big points and a weekend sweep.

Laser-Hume made 37 saves on the night, while Hrdlicka was listed on the gamesheet as making 53 saves on 56 shots. The Bruins have now not won in the Whitney Forum since Nov. 19, 2021 - since that game, a 3-2 overtime win for Estevan, the Bruins have lost six straight games in the Flon's friendly confines, including three in the SJHL finals. In four of those games, Estevan was held to just one goal.

The win pulls the Bombers even with Humboldt for third place in the league, with both teams having 55 points in 40 games. Both teams also have the same number of regulation wins, the first tiebreaker used between teams tied in the standings. Battlefords stays atop the league standings with 77 points, while La Ronge holds the second spot and top spot in the Sherwood division with 58 points, despite having played five more games than the Bombers.

All SJHL teams will pause their schedules for the upcoming SJHL/MJHL Showcase, set to take place in Winnipeg Jan. 31 and Feb. 1. Once all players have returned to their teams, the Bombers will host the Nipawin Hawks Feb. 4 to start a busy February, including 11 games and a four-game-in-five-night southern road swing Feb. 8-12.

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks