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Bomber Game Report: Shootout doesn't go Flin Flon's way, but Bombers clinch home ice

One point would do the trick - while the Bombers took a shootout loss to the Broncos Wednesday night, the team clinched first round home ice in the upcoming SJHL playoffs.
Bomber Game Report

One point would do the trick - while the Bombers took a shootout loss to the Broncos Wednesday night, the team clinched first round home ice in the upcoming SJHL playoffs.

The still-undermanned Bomber team, down four of the team's top five scorers and with a pair of AAA affiliate players logging minutes, took Humboldt to a shootout, but took a 3-2 defeat.

Flin Flon was still missing Cole Duperreault, Jaeden Mercier, Jeremi Tremblay and Jacob Vockler going into the grudge match - in their place came two AAA call-ups, 18-year-old Braxton Kabrud and 17-year-old Koen Senft, both Bomber bantam draft picks playing their first junior A games.

Despite being shorthanded, the Bombers still opened the scoring in the first, with Brock Mueller banging in a bouncing puck near Bronco goalie Benjamin Motew. The Bombers would escape the first period with the Humboldt horsies with a 1-0 lead.

The Broncos would tie things back up in the second period, with Ethan Zielke tipping a Carsten Kayter point shot past Harmon Laser-Hume and into the Bomber net on a powerplay.

Entering the third, both teams would be tied at one, but Humboldt would break the deadlock three minutes in. A long shot by Daylan Weigel would find its way both through traffic and past Laser-Hume, giving Humboldt a 2-1 lead. Despite the setback, the Bombers would find their way back into the thick of it. Reece Richmond would take a shot off the sideboard that would take an odd hop, land on the stick of Mueller and end with him crashing it into the net, tying the game.

The final half of the third period would mostly be owned by the Broncos, but Laser-Hume was up to the task, stopping all shots that came his way. The game would end tied at two after 60 minutes - overtime would be needed.

Most of the play during overtime would be in transition, in the neutral zone - both teams only recorded one shot each, with Laser-Hume and Motew both stopping their solitary tests. A shootout would be needed.

Cage Newans, Humboldt's first shooter, came in slowly and scored on Laser-Hume to start the shootout. The Bombers' first shooter was Alexi Sylvestre, whose backhand shot caught the post. Tim Kim picked a corner on Laser-Hume to put the Broncos ahead two, meaning Houle would need to score to keep the Bombers' hopes alive. The defenceman's dangle would end up going right into Motew's pad, giving the Broncos the victory by the skin of their teeth.

Laser-Hume was credited with 25 saves in a losing effort, while Motew was marked down as making just 22 stops.

The Bombers still sit second in the SJHL standings with 74 points and four games left to play. Humboldt is still within striking distance just behind the Bombers in third, with 73 points and six games left to play. 

With the Melfort Mustangs winning against Kindersley, the Mustangs now move into fourth place with 66 points and four games left. The Mustangs, if they win out their schedule, can still finish with 74 points - if the Bombers lose their final four games, both teams will finish tied in the standings. However, no other team can either tie or surpass Flin Flon in the standings, meaning the Bombers are guaranteed either a second, third or fourth-place finish.

The result also means that the Bombers are guaranteed at least a share of the Sherwood division title, with only one point needed to guarantee the Bombers finish atop the Sherwood.

Flin Flon plays four more games, each against divisional foes - one at home March 3 against Nipawin, another against the Mustangs at the Forum March 7, then a home-and-home with La Ronge March 10-11.

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