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Bomber Game Report: Flin Flon takes third-straight loss to Kindersley 3-2

Flin Flon's sudden slump continued Friday night, taking a 3-2 L in Kindersley despite a hard-fought effort.

Flin Flon's sudden slump continued Friday night, taking a 3-2 L in Kindersley despite a hard-fought effort.

The Bombers were down a pair of experienced players for the Friday game. Defender Noah Houle was given a suspension for a hit he made against Humboldt Thursday and was out of the game, while Harmon Laser-Hume spent the game in the press box - Kenny Marquart got the start, while U18 AAA star goalie Logan Edmonstone was called up for the night as backup.

Flin Flon got out to an early lead, with Dawson Karol scoring the first goal after less than three minutes, digging in the slot and popping a puck off the post and in. That goal would be the only marker of the first period, with the maroon and white opening up a 1-0 lead on their first shot.

In the second, the Klippers hunkered down, tying the game with a wraparound by defender Simon Diaz. The home team would then take the lead, when a point shot squeezed through traffic in front of Marquart and Logan Linklater pounced on it, getting it into an open net. 

The Klippers kept the lead for barely two minutes. A Bomber powerplay got them back to a tied game, with Alexi Sylvestre getting a backhand shot past Klippers goalie Cody Jaman with five minutes left in the second.

Fireworks erupted near the end of the period, when Kindersley's Easton Inglis caught Carter Anderson with a knee-on-knee hit while the Bomber forward carried the puck from the zone. Three Bombers descended on Inglis immediately, with Cole Tanchuk dropping the mitts with him. Both players earned five-and-10s for their trouble and Tanchuk taking an extra penalty for starting the fight. Anderson would be alright and the game would remain tied at two to start the third.

The Bombers killed that penalty off and even though they remained hemmed in their own zone for a while after, the team got out relatively unscathed. While the Bombers had a loosey-goosey game in Humboldt Thursday, the club tightened up their game on both sides of the ice.

Flin Flon put pressure on Jaman and Kindersley in the third, with Sylvestre almost knocking home his second of the game and Luke Lepper getting a chance in close, but the goalie stopped both shots. Meanwhile, Jacob Vockler was missing in action for the third after taking an awkward hit on a second-period powerplay, not long before Sylvestre's goal.

More chances abounded as the third went on, with the Bombers outshooting Kindersley 34-21 at the third-period media timeout, with eight minutes on the clock. Jaman was proving tough to beat.

The Klippers' ability to hang in there paid off with just over six minutes to go. Kindersley picked off a failed clearing attempt, then set up in the zone, giving Brock Evans a chance and a rebound in the slot, which he would convert - 3-2 Klippers late in the third.

The Bombers got a late break, when Anthony Bax and former Bomber Brock Mueller shoved each other into the crease after a whistle. Mueller made contact with Marquart, knocking him over. It was enough to get Mueller a roughing penalty and give the Bombers a late powerplay.

With the man up, more chances came, including two straight hit posts, one by Sylvestre and one seconds later by Anderson on the same play. Flin Flon almost got the puck in late in the powerplay in a goalmouth scramble, but Jaman managed to keep it out.

Marquart got pulled for an extra attacker with two minutes left on the clock and lobbed more shots at Jaman, but between the goalie and Kindersley's defenders, the Bombers had no answers. The Klippers celebrated a big win, while the Bombers ate their third straight loss and fourth in their last five.

Jaman stopped 38 shots for the Klippers in the win, while Marquart made 22 saves in a losing effort.

Flin Flon will still stay on top of the SJHL standings, now sporting a 40-5-2-0 record and 82 points. The Battlefords North Stars, who sit second in the league with 70 points, took an 8-3 loss Friday to a Yorkton team sitting six points out of a playoff spot.

The Bombers have not lost three straight games since last year's playoffs, when they were swept in the finals by the eventual champion North Stars.

Flin Flon will play the final game of a three-game-in-three-night road trip in Kindersley Saturday night. The Bombers can clinch top spot in the regular season Saturday with a win over the Klippers and a Battlefords loss to Melville.

While the Bombers have seen success on special teams, the team's five-on-five offence has almost disappeared. Since dropping their Feb. 10 game to Estevan, the Bombers have scored eight powerplay goals in those six games and 10 at even strength.

The team's historically hot start is at risk now of missing the Bombers' all-time junior A season wins record, set back in 1957 - that team won 46 out of 53 games. With eight games to go, the Bombers will have to win six to tie that record and seven to beat it. With Friday's loss, this year's Bombers will not be able to match the feat of 46 wins in 53 games - the best they can now do in that timespan is 45 wins. 

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