Flin Flon did not get a storybook start to the SJHL finals. The Bombers took an early lead, but lost 5-2 - and may be down a key player.
The Stars scored four straight goals in the first and second period, pushing Battlefords to a win and a 1-0 series lead.
The Bombers opened up strong, with both Jaeden Mercier and Jeremi Tremblay back in the lineup after runs with injury. Flin Flon got into early penalty trouble, taking a too many men call barely two minutes in, but redemption came quick.
After dumping the puck down, Kylynn Olafson forced Stars goalie Josh Kotai into a turnover, batting the puck out of the air to himself, turning around and firing it home. Not even three minutes in, the Bombers were up.
Sadly, that would not last. With Flin Flon continuing to take trips to the box - four in a row at one point - the Stars took advantage. Jake Southgate ripped home a slapshot from the point to tie the game.
Late in the first came a scary moment for Flin Flon. Captain Lucas Fry got tied up with the Stars' Steven Kesslering with five minutes to go - Kesslering's skate came up and sliced open Fry's arm. Fry hightailed it to the bench for immediate treatment and did not return to the game.
The game was stopped for several moments and eventually resumed - Fry was taken to Saskatoon for treatment and is in stable condition, according to a statement issued by the Bombers following the game.
Battlefords came out of the stoppage on top - Colby Bear went in on a break and a Tynan Ewart pass found him behind the Bomber D, where he chased in on Harmon Laser-Hume and scored. The Stars headed into the second period up 2-1.
That lead would grow in the second, with Southgate picking up a rebound near the net and knocking it past Laser-Hume to extend the lead to two.
On the other end, Alexi Sylvestre had a golden chance point-blank on Kotai, followed soon after by another good shot, but neither found paydirt - one was saved by Kotai, another was deflected out of harm's way.
Late in the period, the Stars extended the lead even more, with Keiton Klein taking a shot that deflected off a Bomber defender's stick and up and over Laser-Hume's shoulder. Make it 4-1 Stars - and Laser-Hume took a bump from teammate Barron Stibbe right after the puck went in as he tried to keep another forward away.
In the third, Flin Flon stopped the flow for a short time, with Ethan Mercer finding an open puck at the side of the slot and popping it by Kotai, cutting the lead to two, but despite later pressure, the Bombers couldn't find their way back. Bear added a last-minute empty netter to seal the win, putting the Bombers behind.
Laser-Hume stopped 32 shots on the evening, while Kotai made 25 saves in a winning effort.
The Bombers and Stars will play Game 2 Saturday night in North Battleford.