Count this one as an emphatic victory – the Flin Flon Bombers opened their season with a big 5-2 win over rivals La Ronge.
The offence began two minutes in, with Donavan Houle-Villeneuve firing home a powerplay goal from the slot to give the Bombers an early lead. Moments after Bomber 'tender Jacob Delorme made a spectacular cross-crease diving save, the Bombers extended their lead with rookie Tristan Lemyre getting his first junior goal after a tic-tac-toe passing play.
Ice Wolves forward Zach Bannister drew a crowd after firing a puck into the open Bomber net after the final whistle for the first period.
The Bombers picked right where they left off in the second, with Houle-Villeneuve potting his second after streaking into the zone and beating La Ronge goalie Ryan Baker far side. Houle-Villeneuve continued four minutes later, snagging his hat-trick goal after another passing play from linemates Cole Rafuse and Alec Malo.
Kyle Ford broke Delorme's shutout bid late in the second with a laserbeam wrist shot from the goalie's right side, but the Bombers entered the intermission with a 4-1 lead.
The third began with Ice Wolves captain Ben Manson getting into it with Easton Haygarth. Manson then dropped the gloves with Haygarth, who didn't reciprocate. Manson ended the play with a boarding call, a roughing call and a 10-minute misconduct.
With La Ronge's captain stuck in the sin bin, Houle-Villeneuve picked right up where he left off – less than two minutes into the third, he scored his fourth goal of the game with a high slot snapper on the powerplay. The Ice Wolves gaveup three powerplay goals on the night.
After another highlight reel save by Delorme, diving across the crease and making a save with his head, Ice Wolf Max Kleiner potted a goal following a scrum in the crease. Alas, it was too little, too late for La Ronge.
Tensions soared after the final whistle when La Ronge forward Boston Maxwell took a swipe at the Bombers' moose leg near centre ice. The two teams needed to be separated by officials as the Ice Wolves headed to the dressing room.
Houle-Villeneuve tallied the first season-opening four goal performance for the Bombers since Cole Wilson's tenure with the Bombers – Wilson opened the 2008-09 season with four goals of his own against the Melfort Mustangs.
Delorme earned the win with 25 saves, while Baker was shelled, making 47 saves on the night. Cole Rafuse, playing his first game with the Bombers, racked up three assists, while Martin and Melo each ended up with two assists.
The Bombers and Ice Wolves will face off again Saturday night in La Ronge.