Bombers lose to Hawks in hard shootout preseason loss

The Bombers are one game away from going winless through the preseason, losing Friday night in a heartbreaking 6-5 shootout loss to Nipawin.

The Bombers started strong, with Chase Haygarth and Cole Rafuse sneaking in two quick goals in the first period. Nipawin got on the board with goals by Carson Dobson and Austin Flaman, tying the game up after 20.

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Nipawin took the lead after Jeremy Bisson picked a corner on Bomber goalie J.P. Mella early in the second, but the Bombers battled back late in the period. A seeing-eye shot by Mason Martin found the net, tying the game, followed quickly by a goal by Brandon Cianflone to give Flin Flon the lead.

Early in the third period, Easton Haygarth banged away an open puck to make it a 5-3 game. The Bombers had the lead for most of the third, until Jordan Simoneau slid the puck around Mella late in the period.

Late in the third, with the Nipawin net empty, the Bombers iced the puck. A Bomber forechecker was the closest to the puck when it crossed the Nipawin goal line, but the play was blown dead by one of the linesmen. After a centre-ice faceoff following the miscue, Nipawin crashed the Bomber net, leading to a goal by Hawks defender Bronson Adams with only eight seconds to go.

The two teams headed to overtime, but despite a 4-on-3 powerplay, the Bombers could not end the extra frame. The Hawks would go on to win in a shootout.

Jacob Delorme and Mella split the net for the Bombers, who iced a veteran-heavy lineup in the loss. Delorme played the first period, while Mella played the second, third, overtime and shootout.

One night previous, the Bombers faced the Swan Valley Stampeders on the road and came home with a 5-3 loss. Bombers Caleb Franklin, Martin and Donavan Houle-Villeneuve each scored for the Bombers, while both Frazer Dodd and Josh Maucieri scored for the Stamps.

The Bombers will play their sixth and final exhibition match against the OCN Blizzard at the Whitney Forum Sept. 7.

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