It may have been the Bombers' home opener, but Tuesday night's game was one to forget. Flin Flon was dealt a 8-3 loss by the Melfort Mustangs.
The Bombers, wearing their new black uniforms, came out cold and chilled out further throughout the first period, while the Mustangs, who beat the Bombers four nights before, picked up where they left off. Ben Tkachuk scored a pair of goals for the Mustangs early in the first, followed by another goal in the late first by Marco Lopez. Twenty seconds after Lopez scored, Tye Scherger did the same, giving Melfort a commanding 4-0 lead. Bomber starter Cal Schell got a one-way ticket to the bench, having given up four goals on 11 shots in the first.
Zach Huber scored his first as a Bomber to get Flin Flon on the board, but the Mustangs kept coming. Coletyn Boyarski found the twine later in the second, then again in the third to make it 6-1 Mustangs. Matt Raymond provided a little ray of hope with a shorthanded goal, followed shortly after by another Huber goal, but the game was more or less decided.
The two teams got into a line brawl halfway through the third. An after-the-whistle corner skirmish led to some aggressive hugging, but just when cooler heads looked like they might prevail, Mustangs goalie Steven Bacovsky got involved, throwing punches and losing his mask. Three fights started not long after. Bacovsky stayed in the Melfort net after the brawl. Mustangs Lucas Ochitwa, Boyarski and Ben Chase got sent to the showers early, while Hayden Clayton, Huber and Chase Haygarth were sent to the Bombers' dressing room.
Melfort received a pair of goals from Vaclav Prospal, both open shots in the high slot, to finish off an aggressively mediocre night for the maroon (err, black) and white.
Schell and Jared Thompson split the night in the Bomber crease, with Schell saddled with the loss. Bacovsky earned his first win with the Mustangs, making 39 saves. Between the two teams, over three hours of penalties were assessed.
The fate of the Bombers' next games are unknown. The Bombers are supposed to play their next two games at home Nov. 13-14, but all recreational facilities - including hockey rinks and the Whitney Forum - will be shut down in Manitoba starting Thursday, according to a province-wide public health order issued Nov. 10. The Bombers may travel to Kindersley this weekend to face their opponents, the Klippers, as the road team instead of playing host, but any decision on the fate of those two games - and other home games the Bombers are supposed to host later in the month - is currently unknown.
Whether they're at the Whitney Forum or on the road, The Reminder will feature full post game reports of all Bomber games this season.