SJHL playoff simulation: Stars sweep Bombers, win league championship

The SJHL playoffs are over in The Reminder’s simulation – and the title is back in Battlefords. The Stars won Game 4 against the Bombers in the simulation May 7, sweeping Flin Flon with a 3-2 win.

The offence got started halfway into the first period, with the Stars striking first. Ben Hiltz scored first, scoring in the slot on a pass from Quintin Loon-Stewardson. Not long after, the Stars doubled their total with Dylan Esau scored on a rebound after streaking into the slot untouched.

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Flin Flon would get on the board in the second period, with Tristan Lemyre popping a backhander around Battlefords goalie Kristian Lyon about 1:30 into the period. A scrap ensued between Battlefords’ Timon Prexler and Flin Flon’s Hayden Clayton – Prexler, a rookie, ended up with the takedown.

The Bombers had a great opportunity to tie the game with a Donavan Houle-Villeneuve breakaway. Houle-Villeneuve tried to go backhand on Lyon, but Lyon shut the door.

Not long after, Walter Somers added his third goal of the playoffs, sneaking into the slot and beating Flin Flon’s Jacob Delorme with a screened shot. The Stars led 3-1 after 40 minutes.

Chase Haygarth cut the lead to one halfway through the third, popping a high slot wrister over Lyon’s glove. With the game 3-2 Stars, the Bombers went hard at the Battlefords net, pulling Delorme with about a minute left, but in the end, all efforts proved futile.

The Battlefords North Stars, for the second time in four years, would win the Canalta Cup on Whitney Forum ice after sweeping the Bombers.

Quintin Loon-Stewardson was named finals MVP and Stars captain Matthew Fletcher held the Cup high.

It would be the third time in the past four seasons where the Bombers were eliminated in the playoffs by Battlefords. Battlefords swept Flin Flon in the 2017 finals, then eliminated the Bombers last season in a heartbreaking seven-game series. The Bombers would have lost in the finals for the third time in five years.

Battlefords won Games 1 and 2 of the series at home 5-1 and 4-3 in overtime, then beat the Bombers at the virtual Whitney Forum 6-3. The Stars qualified for the finals by beating the Nipawin Hawks in five games (finishing the real-life series 3-1, then advancing in the simulation) and beating La Ronge in six. On the other side, the Bombers swept the Humboldt Broncos in real-life action before being taken to seven games by a defensively sound Melfort squad in the simulation.

As a simulation, the series played are fictional and are not meant to be seen as a prediction or forecast of how the 2020 SJHL playoffs would have gone. The simulation is meant to show how the playoffs could have happened, not how they would or should have happened.

Game 4 can be seen in full here on The Reminder’s Twitch page.

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