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Bomber Game Report: Flin Flon sweeps Kindersley with 2-1 win, advance to semifinals

Semifinals, here we come. The Bombers took the brooms out in Kindersley Wednesday night, surviving a late push to win 2-1 and sweep the Klippers.

Semifinals, here we come. The Bombers took the brooms out in Kindersley Wednesday night, surviving a late push to win 2-1 and sweep the Klippers.

The Bombers started behind the eight-ball, with top playoff scorer Alexi Sylvestre sustaining a two-game suspension for a hit in Game 3. Tyson Smith was also out for the Bombers, having hurt his shoulder on a hit midway through the previous game. Kindersley played third-string goalie John MacPherson but also got defender Austin Osiowy, the team's top defenceman, back from an injury layoff.

The first period was a see-saw affair, with neither team taking control for long. Both teams ended the period with a powerplay, 11 shots and no goals.

Heading into the second tied, Carter Anderson nearly got the Bombers on the board, but MacPherson robbed him to keep the game scoreless. With the Bombers up on a powerplay, MacPherson stopped another pair of big chances and helped the home team kill off Flin Flon's man advantage. On the other end of the ice, Harmon Laser-Hume helped kill off a power-play and also robbed an Anderson - this time, Kindersley's Zakery Anderson.

The deadlock was finally broken in the back half of the second period - Justin Lies took a feed from Anderson and got on the scoresheet, giving the Bombers a 1-0 lead. Kindersley threw the kitchen sink at the Bomber goal to finish the second, even pulling MacPherson with a couple seconds left on a faceoff in the Bomber zone, but Flin Flon held tall, going into the third up a goal.

With 20 minutes separating the Klippers from playoff doom, the team entered the third ready to leave it all on the ice - a pair of early chances by Kindersley were met with stops by Laser-Hume, while a two-minute man advantage with Lies in the box led to nothing. A two-on-one for the Klipps was stopped by the Bombers' Anthony Bax, who dove between the two forwards and broke it up.

The Bombers' early grind paid off seven minutes into the period, when Matt Egan showed Kindersley how you're supposed to do a two-on-one, keeping, firing and ripping a shot bar-down on MacPherson. The hundred or so Bomber fans in the crowd cheered hard as Egan, now in his third and final year as a Bomber, finally scored his first-ever playoff goal for the squad.

A little bit of rough stuff would take place in the third, as had happened in all three previous games in the series, with players from both teams exchanging pleasantries. Riley Niven and Lies would be taken to the box for the Bombers, Nathan DeGraves and Cobe Perlinger would be led away for the Klippers and the band would play on.

The Klippers threw everything but the kitchen sink in the mid and late third. Logan Linklater almost solved Laser-Hume late with a point-blank chance, but Flin Flon's goalie got a limb on that shot and knocked it away. Lies would get the gate for the third time in the period with just over five minutes to go, giving Kindersley a prime chance to get on the board.

Laser-Hume got a glove on a long shot through traffic by DeGraves, made a couple of stops and the defence helped keep danger at bay. However, the powerplay would disappear when DeGraves caught Adam McNutt high, getting a roughing penalty and making it four-on-four with less than four minutes left.

The Bombers ate time off the clock down low, pinning the puck against the boards, but didn't take off enough - the Klippers' efforts finally paid off with less than three minutes to go, when Cam Perlinger banged the puck home shorthanded in a scrum in front of Laser-Hume.

When DeGraves left the box, MacPherson fled for the bench and got the Klippers an extra attacker - six-on-five, do-or-die time. Despite their late surge though, the Klippers didn't do and henceforth died. The Bombers got the puck out of danger just long enough to stay ahead at the final whistle. Klippers fans can stash away their signs for another season, their team will be free to book the earliest possible tee-time and the Bombers will advance to the semi-finals for the third straight season.

Laser-Hume made 34 saves on 35 shots for the win, while MacPherson stopped 21 shots on the night. Egan's goal would stand as a game - and series - winner.

Two teams punched their tickets for the semifinal Wednesday - the Bombers and the Battlefords North Stars, who beat Melville 3-2 in overtime and clinched a sweep. Rylan Williams, the son of former Bomber forward Danny Williams, got the series-clinching OT goal.

Melfort defeated Estevan 5-2, moving ahead in their series 3-1, while Humboldt and Weyburn went to overtime in a hard-fought Game 4, with Weyburn's Nick Kovacs playing hero and tying the series at two. Flin Flon, as the league's top seed, will face the lowest remaining seed after the first round - if all higher-ranked teams win their series, the Bombers would face the Stars in the semis.

Flin Flon outscored the Klippers 19-3 in the series, shutting the Klippers out twice and coming just moments away from doing it three times. The Klippers did not score a single goal at even strength in the series, getting two powerplay markers as well as Perlinger's shorthanded score Wednesday.

Laser-Hume faced 120 shots by the Klippers - he saved 117 of them. Four Bomber players scored as many goals in the series as the entire Klippers roster managed in the entire series - one, Sylvestre, did so in just one period in Game 2.

The game signals the end of the junior A careers of seven Klippers players - forwards Tylin Hilbig, Easton Inglis, Logan Linklater, Brock Mueller and Kale Taylor and defenders Nathan DeGraves and Simon Diaz.

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