Bombers break Mustangs late, win 5-4 at home

It may have been a nail-biter, but the Flin Flon Bombers answered the call Saturday night, earning one of their biggest wins of the season against division rivals Melfort.

Flin Flon took down the Mustangs 5-4 after a rollercoaster tilt at the Whitney Forum.

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The Bombers kicked off the scoring with a shorthanded goal early in the first. Caleb Moretz got credit for the goal. Colin Schmidt answered back for Melfort seconds later. After 20 minutes, the two teams were deadlocked 1-1.

In the second period, Vincent Nardone stuffed the puck home in a goalmouth scramble to give the Bombers a 2-1 lead. That wouldn't last long, as SJHL scoring leader Justin Ball capitalized on a Calvon Boots miscue at the blueline and scored on a shorthanded breakaway. 

With the game tied, the Bombers struck once more, with Billy Klymchuk pouncing on a juicy rebound and beating 'Stangs goalie Shawn Parkinson to regain the lead. However, another defensive lapse led to another shorthanded breakaway goal for Melfort. Alex Rondeau took advantage, beating new Bomber goalie Gabriel Waked to tie the game at 3.

Nolan Kadachuk capitalized early in the third period for Melfort, giving the Mustangs their first lead of the game with minutes to play. The Bombers clawed back. After Braeden Young was called for a trip on Chrystopher Collin, the Bomber power play struck gold, with Daylan Marchi stuffing home the tying goal seconds in.

Another Melfort penalty put the Bombers on the power play a minute later. With the puck bouncing near the net, new Bomber Cade Kowalski picked the perfect time to score his first goal as a Bomber, guiding the puck past Parkinson and giving the Bombers the lead back.

With a late penalty called on the Bombers, Melfort had a chance to tie things up, but the Bombers killed off the 5-on-4. A late chance for the Mustangs was snuffed out by a shot block by Marchi. The game would enter the books as a big Bomber win.

Following the game, Mustangs forward Kyle Schneider skated to centre ice and took a swing at the moose leg with his stick. That didn't sit well with Collin, who challenged him at centre ice. Officials kept the two separated. Melfort head coach Trevor Blevins got into a heated verbal spat with Bomber assistant coach Garry Childerhose as each headed to the dressing rooms.

Waked earned his first SJHL win, making 30 saves, while Parkinson made 35 saves in a losing cause.

The Bombers took two big steps toward Melfort in the Sherwood Division standings this weekend, winning both games against the Mustangs this weekend. The Bombers now sit two points behind the Mustangs with a game in hand for second place in the division. Flin Flon also sits in seventh in the league with 50 points, stuck in a logjam with Humboldt, Battlefords and Melfort. All four teams are within two points of each other.

SJHL teams will take some time off this week with players heading to Regina for the SJHL-MJHL Showcase. The Bombers will be back in action, with newly acquired defenceman Jack Michell in tow, on Jan. 18, 19 and 20, where they face Melville and Yorkton on a three-day road trip.

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