The Flin Flon Bombers are back on the ice and have a preseason win under their belts. The maroon and white opened things up with a 3-2 overtime win against La Ronge.
The atmosphere was subdued in the Whitney Forum Thursday night, with a limit of 150 fans allowed inside the building by provincial and league rules. The smaller crowd didn't seem to make much difference for the players, some of whom appeared to be in midseason form. It was the first home game for the Bombers since Game 2 of last year's playoff series with Humboldt March 7 - 229 days later.
La Ronge struck first, with Nolan Doell taking advantage of a smart passing play and shovelling the puck through Bomber netminder Cal Schell's five-hole early. A few minutes later, Narek Aleksanyan gave La Ronge a 2-0 lead, putting the puck upstairs on Schell on a partial break.
The Bombers got on the board early in the second, with Hayden Clayton getting to the point and drilling a shot through a crowd that got past La Ronge's Alex Bell. The remaining two periods were full of back-and-forth play until Bomber Nathan Gagne found the twine on a power-play, finding the puck in the high slot and going bar down on Bell, tying the game.
In overtime, the Bombers went a man up after Ice Wolf Holden Knights cut too close to Schell and made contact with the goalie, earning a goalie interference penalty. As the powerplay expired, Clayton found the puck at the point and once again dented the twine, firing a seeing-eye shot through traffic and past Bell.
The two teams combined for an even hour of penalties in the game, the first preseason game to be held in the SJHL this year. The Bombers and Ice Wolves, division rivals and almost certain cohort and mini-league mates, will play three more preseason games - games two and three will go in La Ronge Saturday night and Wednesday, with a fourth game in the Whitney Forum Halloween night.