Skip to content

Bomber Game Report: Flin Flon stays alive with 4-1 road victory over Bruins

It is not over yet. The Bombers gutted out a big road victory in Estevan Sunday night, forcing a Game 7 Tuesday at the Whitney Forum.
Bomber Game Report

It is not over yet.

The Bombers gutted out a big road victory in Estevan Sunday night, forcing a Game 7 Tuesday at the Whitney Forum.

Flin Flon, who entered the game down 3-2 in the series, would need to win Game 6 Sunday if they wanted to keep their hopes alive at an SJHL league championship.

Flin Flon got two-fold good news heading into the game, both in key returns to their team and a key subtraction from the Bruins. First, the Bombers would bring back Cole Duperreault and Jeremi Tremblay for Game 6 - both players have been out of the lineup with injuries since the Bombers' home weekend set against Battlefords last month.

As well, the Bruins would be down a 2002-born player, as Daniel O'Neill was suspended for two games by the SJHL for a headshot on Flin Flon's Kylynn Olafson in Game 5. O'Neill had one assist in the first five games of the series, but is a key defensive and physical presence for the Bruins - Olafson did not play for the Bombers Sunday.

While the Bombers had good fortune with player health and started out hot, it would once again be Estevan getting on the board first - the winning team scored first in each of the first four games of the series. With the Bombers taking a penalty midway through the frame, Mitch Kohner knocked in his first of the series, opening the scoring and putting Estevan up 1-0.

A scary moment came late in the first for the Bruins, as Kohner and Ilia Chmelevski entered the Bombers' zone, got turned around and collided into each other head-on at full speed. Both players laid down on the ice for some time and needed assistance from Bruins trainer Tannis Harrison - Kohner was carried off the ice hurt for the third time in the series.

Estevan entered the second period up one, but the Bombers would pull ahead soon in the second. After the puck squirted out of a battle in the corner, Tremblay was able to take the puck around Cam Hrdlicka and score, tying the game. Tremblay's goal was his first goal since Feb. 11 - ironically enough, the Bombers' last regular season game on the road against the Bruins.

Flin Flon would end up back in the penalty box immediately after though, with Reece Richmond getting a charging penalty after a hip check on Evan Forrest, but the Bruins would take a penalty right after, making it four-on-four. Estevan had a prime chance right after, with Laser-Hume stretching across the crease to rob Cody Davis, but Laser-Hume fell down hurt in the crease following the play. The goalie would stay in the game.

The next few moments would be ping-pong hockey on fast-forward, with each team having multiple chances off the rush and almost no whistles or delays, ending with a Duperreault high slot shot that Hrdlicka got a glove on.

Flin Flon's powerplay would hit the ice seven minutes in with a Holdin Getzlaf penalty, but Estevan would keep the Bombers at bay.

The Bombers would break through at the halfway point - a two-on-one between Alexi Sylvestre and Ethan Mercer led to Sylvestre shooting and beating Hrdlicka clean glove-side, giving the Bombers their first lead of the game.

It would be Duperreault's chance to get back on the scoresheet soon after - the Bombers swarmed the Bruin net and, with Hrdlicka sprawled out on the ice, the forward would pop the puck over the goalie and into an open net, making it 3-1 Bombers.

The Bombers would continue on late in the frame, getting another powerplay and pushing hard, but Hrdlicka withstood the barrage. Flin Flon would enter the third period up 3-1, but with two players in the box, giving Estevan a 5-on-3 to start the final period.

Flin Flon would bend but not break to start the third, killing off both penalties and gaining momentum. Puck possession ebbed and flowed, but with five minutes to go, the Bombers stayed up by two.

As is Estevan coach Jason Tatarnic's tradition in big games, the Bruins pulled Hrdlicka with five minutes left in the game. While the Bombers have had a hard time with empty nets this season, they didn't this time - captain Lucas Fry knocked the puck out of the zone, beat out Bruin defenders and hit the empty net with a backhand, making it 4-1.

The Bruins tried to fight back late, but the team couldn't get back on the board. As Estevan fans left Affinity Place to beat the traffic, the Bombers headed back to their zone to celebrate the win.

Laser-Hume stopped 27 of 28 shots in the victory, while Hrdlicka made 42 stops.

The Bombers will host Game 7 at the Whitney Forum March 28. Flin Flon has an edge over the Bruins at the rink, having won seven of the teams' eight matchups at the rink, but the Bruins won the last game at the rink this week, taking a 2-1 overtime win.

Three of the SJHL's four first round series have already finished up - the top-seed Battlefords North Stars overcame a Game 1 loss to rampage past Weyburn in five games, adding a coup de grace with a 7-4 win March 24. Humboldt also overcame their opponent in five games, beating Nipawin 6-2 in their own Game 5 March 24 to clinch a spot.

Melfort overcame division rivals La Ronge in six games, winning the decisive Game 6 8-2 on enemy ice to eliminate the Ice Wolves and move on.

Who plays who will hinge on the outcome of the Bruins and Bombers' Game 7 - as the teams in the league's playoffs are reseeded after the first round, the lowest remaining seed will face Battlefords and the second-lowest remaining seed will play Humboldt.

If the Bombers take Game 7, they - the third-ranked team - will enter as the second-lowest remaining seed, setting up a series with Humboldt and Battlefords playing Melfort. Estevan, the sixth-ranked team, would enter the second round as the league's lowest remaining seed if they win Game 7, setting them up with a second-round date with the Stars and a Humboldt/Melfort series.

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