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Bomber Game Report: Shootout Flin Flon's downfall in thrill ride 4-3 loss to Bruins

One point, but not two - the Bombers sent Friday's game with Estevan into overtime with last-second heroics, but couldn't close out in a 4-3 shootout loss.

One point, but not two - the Bombers sent Friday's game with Estevan into overtime with last-second heroics, but couldn't close out in a 4-3 shootout loss.

The Bombers opened the scoring when Joey Lies picked up a bounce off the sideboards and beat Estevan's Jackson Miller from 20 feet out, skating over to the glass to celebrate where his family sits in the Forum. Estevan wouldn't take long to tie it up though, with a point shot by Felix Allard going off Harmon Laser-Hume's glove and into the net less than two minutes later.

The Bruins would take the momentum and swing it all the way in their favour soon after, with Brady Wilson getting the visitors up one. Flin Flon had a powerplay soon after, but could not convert - Estevan would lead 2-1 heading into the second period, despite the Bombers dumping a barrage of 22 shots on Miller, who saved 21 of them.

Right after leaving the penalty box, Carter Anderson took a big hit from Estevan's Blake Heward - enough to get a charging call for the Bruins and another powerplay for Flin Flon. Despite Estevan sporting one of the SJHL's worst penalty kills by average, they stepped up to stop the Bomber powerplay. Estevan came back and made the Bombers pay minutes later, with a powerplay goal of their own from Ilia Chmelevski.

Things got physical late in the frame, with a big hit by Noah Houle on Alex Papaspyropoulos that left the forward on the ice bloodied. That led to a fracas and officials were able to break it up, but cooler heads prevailed. The Bombers got back on the board, cutting the lead to one with a powerplay marker by Alexi Sylvestre, but Estevan was still up 3-2 after 40.

The Bombers crashed and banged through the third period and found almost no success, until near the end of the period, when with Laser-Hume pulled, Estevan a holding call with just 11 seconds to go gave the Bombers a chance.

Using that late chance and a last gasp, the Bombers got the game to overtime, with Sylvestre knocking the puck home with 4.8 seconds left on the clock. With their chances dwindled to almost nothing, the Bombers still managed to tie the game at three all - forcing overtime and gaining at least a point.

The extra frame was three-on-three, all action all the time. Justin Lies almost got a chance off the rush, but it was stopped - Papaspyropolous came back and took a shot that almost fooled Laser-Hume, but did not go in. 

Anthony Piccininno raced in for the Bombers - shot blocked. Estevan stripped the puck and came in for a chance of their own - they immediately retreated and regrouped. Heward came in for a chance of his own untouched - he fired it wide. A Bomber rush was stymied by Miller, leading to a three-on-two rush for Estevan - save by Laser-Hume. Two minutes of play had passed.

Flin Flon tried to slow it down but couldn't make a key pass. Estevan's Keagon Little tried to set up a teammate - nothing but open ice. Flin Flon regrouped and Noah Houle nearly caught out Miller with a wrister, but the save was made. Chmelevski couldn't get anything going. Allard came in and was tripped up by Sylvestre with 1:39 on the clock, giving the Bruins a four-on-three for the rest of the overtime.

Lies and McNutt kept the Bruins hemmed in on the sidewall to start, with Little losing a open one-timer to a stick blowout - Papaspyropoulos had a chance of his own on the carom to score, but blew his own stick apart too. McNutt and Riley Niven had a chance shorthanded, but Miller stood tall.

Estevan regained the zone but couldn't convert, bringing the game into a shootout. The Bombers had been in two shootouts this season and won them both, but were down their ace - Jacob Vockler, still out hurt after suffering an injury against Kindersley last week, could only watch from the crowd.

The Bruins sent out Papaspyropoulos, who went backhand high on Laser-Hume and scored. Lies led off for the Bombers and ripped the shot wide. Heward beat Laser-Hume with a wrister, putting the Bombers behind the eight-ball.

Carter Anderson came in with speed and beat Miller high glove to keep the Bombers in it, then Laser-Hume caught Owen Barrow's wrister with his glove. Noah Houle came up for the Bombers next, dangling Miller out and extending the game.

Allard came in and beat Laser-Hume with a well-aimed shot, putting the pressure on Piccininno to keep the Bombers alive. Miller pokechecked him, ending the game, giving Estevan the win and running over to the same spot of the glass where Lies celebrated his first goal of the night - in front of the section the brothers' family sits in. Miller and Papaspryopoulos were both assessed 10-minute misconducts after the game was finished.

Miller got the win with 40 saves on the night - Laser-Hume made 24 saves, but it wasn't enough for Flin Flon.

One point will push the Bombers to 85 on the season and a 41-6-2-1 record, still first in the league by double digits - Melfort is now second in the league, having beaten the Battlefords North Stars Friday night and leapfrogging them with 71 points. The Stars, now on a four-game losing skid, have 70 points and are now in third place.

After screaming out of the gate this season, the Bombers are showing some cracks, having now lost four of their last five games and five of their last eight. The Bruins have now beaten Flin Flon twice this season, becoming one of just three SJHL teams to do that this year - only Melfort and Melville have done the same.

The Bombers and Bruins will renew hostilities at the Whitney Forum Saturday night.

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