Flin Flon's offence bombed Weyburn into submission Friday, piling more than a shot per minute on net in a 5-1 victory.
Defender Noah Houle paced the offence with big plays and Kenny Marquart held down the fort for Flin Flon, en route to win number 24 of the young season.
Flin Flon opened the scoring less than three minutes in, as a shot by Carter Anderson got in behind the Weyburn defence, took a shot that hit a lunging defender's stick and the puck bounced up, over and behind Red Wing goalie Angelo Zol. That gave Flin Flon the lead and they would stay ahead until the final whistle.
Some rough stuff started early, as Ashton Paul and Logan Greenough got into it behind the play, then Jacob Visentini and Anderson doing the same. Everybody got sent to the box and not long after, the Bombers made good yet again.
The Bomber offence put together a highlight-reel finish for their second goal of the night, with Jacob Vockler, Alexi Sylvestre and Noah Houle each beating multiple Wings to keep the puck, get into position and having Houle beat a sprawling Zol on a wraparound. The Wings protested the goal, claiming interference, but no calls came and the Bombers entered the intermission up 2-0. The goal was later changed to give credit to Vockler.
The Noah Houle Show continued in the second, when the defender fired a shot through a crowded slot that got past Zol. For his next trick, the Bomber defenceman, sprung in on a two-on-one with Ashton Paul, kept and shot, beating Zol clean for what was down on the game sheet as goal number three - some hats hit the ice, but with Houle's first goal changed to Vockler, he would not have a hat-trick after all.
The chippiness would continue later on, as Dawson Karol and Zol collided in front, with the Weyburn goalie going down and taking a few minutes to get his bearings back. Karol was a marked man for the Red Wings following the contact, along with Brock Mueller, who had a back-and-forth battle with Lucas Jeffreys following an uncalled high-stick on Mueller - the two had a small battle late in the period and both got penalties.
Flin Flon headed into the final frame 4-0 but grew the lead to five early in the third, with Anderson setting up Paul for his first goal in nine games.
That goal would come with a price for Paul though, as not long after, he was boarded by Weyburn's Wyatt LaCoste, who pushed him into the boards from behind and cut him open. LaCoste was kicked from the game and given a five-minute major, while Paul was taken to the dressing room and treated by Bomber replacement trainer Cole Duperreault - the former Bomber star took to the bench to replace Jason Savill, who is away at the World Junior A Challenge. Paul did not return to the game.
Alexi Sylvestre nearly made it 6-0 but Zol, who was shelled in the Weyburn net, made the save. Zol would stop the equivalent of more than one shot per minute on average, playing on the SJHL's most penalized team against the league's best powerplay - despite giving the Bombers seven powerplay chances, Flin Flon couldn't make good once.
Weyburn managed to break Marquart's shutout bid, with Bradley Banach knocking home a powerplay goal with barely four minutes to go. The end result was unchanged - a big Bomber win, their sixth in a row and their 13th straight game with at least a point.
The tension boiled over late as Jeffreys and Karol pulled each other out of a pile late and dropped the mitts - while Karol went in with enthusiasm, Jeffreys took him to the ice quick and took a decisive win. According to the SJHL's official figures, Karol gave up three inches and 15 pounds of size in the fight. Both players were kicked out and got first crack at the warm shower, while both teams played out the string late.
Marquart stopped 24 of 25 shots on the night. Zol, playing in his SJHL debut, ended up making an incredible 64 saves on 69 Bomber shots. Flin Flon's effort extends their record to a nice 25-1-2-0 and 52 points in 28 games, the midway point of their season. Second-place Battlefords were idle Friday, meaning the Bombers are now 11 points ahead of the Stars despite having played one fewer game.
If Flin Flon continues their pace for the rest of the year, the Bombers have a chance to be the league's first 100-point team in over two decades - the last time a team cracked 100 points was Nipawin in 1999-2000, doing so in 60 games instead of the 56-game schedule the SJHL now plays.
The Bombers face off against Weyburn again Saturday night, then play a home-and-home against La Ronge before sliding into the holiday break.
With 28 games left to play, some Bomber players are on pace to break some of the team's modern player records. In the past 30 seasons, the team's single-season records for goals and points belong to Reid MacLeod, who had 47 goals and 89 points in 2007-08. Both of those modern records are in jeopardy.
With 23 goals and 47 points, Justin Lies currently leads all SJHL players in points and goals - if he continues his current pace through the second half, Lies will end the year with 96 points and 47 goals, which would tie MacLeod in goals and exceed his point total.
MacLeod's modern goal mark is also under threat from Anderson, who has 21 goals in just 19 games - continuing that pace through the rest of the season would give the Thompson native 52 goals this year, becoming the first Bomber to break the 50-goal mark since Darren Schwartz did so in 1989.
Alexi Sylvestre, who has 42 points in 28 games, has a chance to beat MacLeod's mark in points, while Noah Houle, who is on pace for 78 points this season, would contend to break the modern defenceman point record Mark Loeppky set in 1994 with 79.