Bombers find OT magic in 5-4 win over Kindersley

It took some extra time to do it, but the Flin Flon Bombers came away with a big 5-4 Friday night win over Kindersley.

The Klippers got on the board first, courtesy of a goal by Kyle Bosch on the powerplay during a net-front scrum. Flin Flon responded later in the period with a powerplay goal of their own, with Cole Rafuse pouncing on a rebound to tie things up. 

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With the game tied after 20, the Bombers got the lead after another powerplay goal, a seeing-eye blast by Mason Martin that snuck through Klippers goalie Zach Johnson's five-hole. The Bombers extended the lead in the third, with Chase Haygarth sneaking the puck past Johnson early.

Kindersley leapt back into the game after a high shot handcuffed Bomber goalie Jaden Little, leading to Jaxon Georget scoring his first SJHL goal and cutting the lead to one. Then, a Liam Fraser blooper from the high slot found its way past Little, tying the game.

The tie wouldn't last very long. Bomber Brandon Cianflone, sprung on a breakaway, made no mistake on Johnson, sliding it home to make it 4-3 Bombers late in the third. However, the Klippers would find their way back into the mix. After a Bomber was tripped in the Klippers' zone, Kindersley carried the puck toward Little and ended the drive with a game-tying goal. Fraser was credited with his second goal of the game.

The two sides went to overtime, where the Bombers dominated possession. Despite constant pressure, the Bombers' first unit were unable to get the job done quick. Finally, only 70 seconds into the 3-on-3 OT period, Matt Flodell found the puck and sent Cianflone on another partial breakaway. With the game on his stick, Cianflone stretched out and dangled Johnson out of his jockstrap, sending the home fans happy with an overtime winner.

Little earned the win for the Bombers with a 32 save performance. Johnson made 36 stops in the loss.

The two teams will battle again Saturday night at the Whitney Forum.

Game notes

The Bombers were short a number of regular players Friday night duw to injuries. Tristan Lemyre sat for the Bombers, along with Jacob Delorme, Jack Michell and others. Michell and Lemyre are expected to be sidelined for 2-3 weeks.

Flin Flon's top line has continued their time atop the league's scoring rankings. Donavan Houle-Villeneuve finished the game with an assist, bringing him to nine goals and 17 points in only eight games. Houle-Villeneuve sits tops in the league, just ahead of teammate Alec Malo who has 16 points in eight games, including 12 assists. Cole Rafuse sits tied for third with 15 points.

Houle-Villeneuve has scored a point in each of the Bombers' first eight games.

The game served as another homecoming of sorts for Larry Wintoneak, the former Bomber bench boss serving as the Klippers' interim coach. Head coach and general manager Garry Childerhose, the assistant coach of the Bombers until last year, was not at the game, having taken personal leave from his post early in the season.

The Klippers also brought former Bomber forwards Dawson McKenzie and Jacob Schnapp up north for the weekend. McKenzie, who went into Friday as the Klippers' leading scorer, was held off the scoresheet, while Schnapp did not dress. Klippers equipment manager Tanner Arnold also made his return to the Whitney – Arnold served in that position with the team until after the 2016-17 season.

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