Through four games, the Flin Flon Bombers have gone .500 through the preseason, winning two games against their nearest rival.
In their first preseason game, the Bombers dropped a 2-0 decision to the La Ronge Ice Wolves Sept. 5. Icing a lineup consisting mostly of rookies and young players, the Bombers couldn’t generate offence, while La Ronge got goals from Jacob Cossette and Anthony Oviedo. The Bombers dressed only three players born in 2002 - defenders Ethan McColm, Jordan Pfoh and Reece Richmond. All other players were born in 2003 or later.
The Bombers began a three-game stretch of games against the OCN Blizzard Sept. 10, starting off in The Pas at the Roy H. Johnson Arena. This game was one-sided from the jump, with the Bombers grabbing a 10-2 victory.
Flin Flon got off to a 3-0 lead before the first intermission, getting goals from Luke Schaeffer, Cole Duperreault and Luke Munroe. Bryden Sinclair got OCN on the board midway through the second, only to be met with a smattering of Flin Flon offence, with five Flin Flon goals in the second period alone. Mason Kaspick scored twice, while other goals came from Matt Raymond, Munroe and Drayden Kurbatoff.
More of the same came in the third, where Parker Johnson got on the board for the Blizzard, but two more Bomber goals came in from Cabrel LaBossiere and Lucas Fry. When the dust settled, 57 shots were recorded by the Bombers, split between Blizzard goalies Logan Enns and Nick Pineo. According to the MJHL’s official game sheet, Bomber goalies Cal Schell and Jared Thompson made 44 saves on the night.
The return date came a night later at the Whitney Forum, with both teams bringing lineups with mostly veteran players. That game was a closer affair, but the Bombers came out on top with a 4-1 win.
After a scoreless first, Nathan Gagne scored seconds into the second period to get the Bombers on the board. OCN tied the game up a few minutes later with a goal by Dain Sardelli, but that changed 33 seconds later with Cole Duperreault finishing off a two-on-one with Jaxon Martens to give Flin Flon a 2-1 lead - a lead they’d never give up.
Jordan Pfoh made it a two-goal lead when a point shot pinballed through a crowded crease and behind Pineo, making it 3-1 Bombers after 40.
In the third period, the Bombers held down the fort, but Flin Flon newcomer Jesse Swanson made a quick name for himself with a dramatic goal on a partial breakaway, dangling around a defender before curling the puck around Pineo.
Cal Schell played the full game in net for Flin Flon, making 37 saves, while Pineo stopped 30 pucks in a second losing effort.
Riding the high from the two wins against their geographical rivals, the Bombers went down the Hanson Lake Road for a rare Sunday nighter in Prince Albert against the Kindersley Klippers. That game, which once again featured a younger lineup for Flin Flon, ended 5-3 in favour of the Klippers.
Gagne opened the scoring early for the Bombers, only for a return goal by Klipper Carson Baylis. Kindersley moved ahead in the second, with goals from Logan Linklater, Ethan King and Mason Svarich. One goal, scored by Kylynn Olafson, came in for Flin Flon in the period, ending 4-2 Kindersley. Both teams swapped goals in the third, with Jaxon Georget of the Klippers and Gagne each getting on the board.
Flin Flon has two remaining games in their preseason campaign - one at the Whitney Forum Sept. 14 and a final game in La Ronge Sept. 17.