What the powerplay giveth, the powerplay can taketh away. The Flin Flon Bombers found that out the hard way Friday night, losing a close one to the top-seed Battlefords North Stars on a late powerplay goal.
The Stars drew first blood in the first period, courtesy of a Dylan McCabe goal, but the red-hot rookie Tristan Lemyre tied the game in the back nine of the second period. December deadline acquisition Jaxon Steele scored his first SJHL goal for the Stars with a handful of seconds left in the second period, giving Battlefords a 2-1 lead after 40.
Lemyre jumped back on the board with his second of the night early in the third, tying the game back up. Late in the third, a cross-check by Chase Haygarth put the Bombers on the penalty kill. That call was the turning point, as only six seconds into the powerplay, Steele scored his second of the night, giving Battlefords a lead they would not relinquish.
Jacob Delorme, playing his second game in 24 hours in the Bomber net, made 31 stops. Austin Schwab got the win for the Stars, making 35 saves.
While the loss may sting, the Bombers will not slide either the league or Sherwood Division standings. The Stars moved ahead to 56 points on the year while the Bombers stayed in the division lead and second overall spot with 48 points, but second place Melfort lost Friday, staying five points back of the Bombers. All four teams in the Sherwood Division are currently in the top six of the standings.
So far on the Bombers’ current road trip, Lemyre has been the straw that stirred the drink. Lemyre has seven points in two games, either scoring or assisting on every goal the Bombers have scored filling in for the suspended Donavan Houle-Villeneuve. Lemyre still sits second in SJHL rookie scoring with 26 points, six behind La Ronge’s Kyle Ford, but in a whopping 15 fewer games than Ford. At his current pace, Lemyre scores five points every four games for the Bombers.
The Bombers picked up their third midget callup goalie in the past two weeks to back up Delorme, snagging 16-year-old Justin Dueck from the Swift Current AAA Legionnaires to ride the pine in case of emergency. Dueck joins goalies Hunter Lolacher and Rylan Potkonjak as secondary goalies who have suited up since the departure of Kyle Jessiman. Since the beginning of the season, the Bombers have dressed eight separate goalies, with five seeing time in the crease.
The SJHL’s top two teams will enter Thunderdome one more time this weekend, squaring off against each other in North Battleford Saturday night.