It may only be preseason, but the Bombers have a nice little streak going. Flin Flon won their third straight game Tuesday night, beating Melfort on the road 6-3.
The Bombers iced a lineup with a mix of veterans, rookies and some players potentially on the bubble, adding a pair of late arrivals to camp - bantam draft pick Eric Han, who came to Flin Flon after camp with WHL Tri-City, and Toronto native Anthony Piccininno, who came to Flin Flon after two years of Ontario junior A.
The Mustangs, not to be outdone, leaned more heavily on the youth, but still dressed some literal and figurative heavy-hitters - their presumptive top D pair of Chase Friedt-Mohr and Leith Olafson were both on the ice, along with a roster almost totally made up of 2004- and 2005-born players.
Flin Flon had the experience advantage and it showed early, with the Bombers opening the scoring midway through the frame. With the Bombers on a powerplay, the puck swung around to Justin Lies, who scored his first of the preseason with a one-timer to open the scoring. A few minutes later, Lies struck again, this time at even strength on a set-up by Pierce Yakimchuk, to send the Bombers into the break up two.
Kylynn Olafson, back in the lineup after missing all of the preseason so far with an injury, got his first goal this year midway through the second, working a give-and-go with newcomer Piccininno to make it 3-0 Flin Flon. Melfort's David Coyle got the 'Stangs on the board less than a minute later, but the maroon and white responded in the form of David Ander, who poked home a loose puck in the crease to restore the Bombers' three goal lead, making it 4-1 after 40.
A pair of early third period powerplays brought Melfort within one early in the final period, with Nolan Kelly and Coyle both finding the twine moments in, but Flin Flon would seal the deal later. First, Jacob Vockler took on three Mustangs defencemen singlehandedly and won to extend the lead to two, then Lies added a late powerplay marker to clinch both a hat-trick and the win. Mustangs prospect Nate Tillmans was booted late after a hit that nearly took Olafson's head off, but the Bombers would escape otherwise unharmed.
Harmon Laser-Hume started the game in the Bomber crease, saving all 11 shots he faced. Backup Kenny Marquart had an uphill battle in the second half of the night, stopping nine shots. In the Mustangs' crease, Josh Henson and Tysen Smith both made 13 saves.
The Bombers' final preseason game will take place at the Whitney Forum Sept. 14 against La Ronge. The regular season for Flin Flon officially kicks off on the road against Nipawin Sept. 22, then ramps up into full gear against the Mustangs Sept. 23.