Regulation time just wasn’t enough for the Bombers and Nipawin Friday night, but the maroon and white got it done in OT.
Flin Flon earned a big 4-3 win in enemy territory Jan. 17, with the club inching further away from the SJHL pack with two solid points.
All three of the Bombers’ recent trade deadline acquisitions – forwards Hayden Clayton and Zach Bannister, along with goalie Cal Schell – were in the Bombers’ lineup. Schell backed up Bomber started Jacob Delorme, fresh off his first-ever SJHL shutout last week against Melfort.
While the Hawks’ Dawson McKenzie opened the scoring three minutes in, the Bombers replied moments later. Troy Quinn scored on a powerplay, with new Bomber Hayden Clayton scoring near the end of the period.
The Bombers extended the lead midway through the second period, making it 3-1 with a goal by rookie Tristan Lemyre, but Jordan Simoneau responded with a Nipawin powerplay goal moments later to cut the lead in half.
Seconds after the first puck drop of the third period, Hawks forward Caden Benson beat Bomber netminder Jacob Delorme to tie things up. Evenly matched to the end, the Hawks and Bombers dragged it on to extra time.
About a minute into overtime, former Bomber McKenzie led a Nipawin rush into the Bomber zone, only to be pokechecked by Delorme. After freeing up the puck, new Bomber Zach Bannister gathered it up and led another rush back toward Nipawin goalie Ross Hawryluk. Teamed up with Lemyre, Bannister found his new teammate and Lemyre sent Nipawin fans home cross, finding the twine and ending the game.
Delorme made 32 stops for the win, while Hawryluk, fresh off a sterling showing in the CJHL Top Prospects Game earlier this week, stopped 35 shots in a losing cause.
The win lets the Bombers put some more ground between them and an ever-so-competitive Sherwood division. The Bombers, now with 57 points, climb back into second in the league ahead of Yorkton’s 56, accomplished in a whopping eight more games than the Bombers. Flin Flon sits six points clear of La Ronge, who sit second in the Sherwood and fourth in the league, as well as Nipawin and Melfort, who sit tied for third in the division and fifth in the league with 49 points apiece.
The Bombers will split up next week, with nine separate members of the team heading to Regina for the SJHL/MJHL Showcase tournament. Once the circus leaves Saskatchewan’s capital, the Bombers will face Nipawin again, playing a home-and-home Jan. 24-25 with the Hawks. The series starts with a home game next Friday in Flin Flon.