For the fifth straight game the Flin Flon Bombers outshot the Estevan Bruins. The Bombers fired 44 shots at the Bruins and starting goalie Matt Gibney, but they were only able to beat him once as the Estevan Bruins edged the Bombers 3-1 to take the deciding game in their best of five Wild Card series.
Also a trend in the series, the Bruins opened the scoring late in the first with Lynden Pastachak scoring his fourth of the series, firing a shot, off a giveaway at the Bombers blueline, at goalie Simon Hofley who got a piece of the shot but the puck trickled into the net.
Hofley was solid in net, as he was all series, making 33 saves, including some key ones in the late portions of the third trying to keep the Bombers chances of tying the score.
For the first time in the series someone named Empey, Allison or Pedersen wasn’t able to score for the Bombers with their lone goal coming just two minutes later from rookie Paul Soubry, who capitalized off a turnover of his own beating Gibney to the blocker side.
Flin Flon looked to take a 2-1 lead shortly after that when Connor Bucsis drove the net after a rebound, but it was quickly waved off due to a high stick.
The SJHL’s regular season points leader Austin Daae scored his first of two at the 18:00 mark, poking in a loose put that was on the goal line after a scramble in the Bomber’s crease. Daae’s other goal came with less than 15 seconds left with Hofley on the bench to preserve the win.
For a team that looked to be out of the playoff picture when everyone wrote them off at the trade deadline trading away 1993 born players Cam Blair, Sam Williams, star goalie Devin Buffalo, 1994 born local product Dillan McCombie and 1994 born leading scorer Brett Boehm, the Flin Flon Bombers turned some heads with their play down the stretch making the playoffs and pushing the higher seeded Bruins to a fifth and deciding game.
“Yeah we are excited about our future,” said Head Coach and General Manager Mike Reagan. “We have been some urgent playoff type hockey for over a month now; they have shown some great potential for next year and the future, I’m really proud of our boys.”
Estevan now moves on to meet the Battlefords North Stars in the SJHL Quarter Finals.
ICE CHIPS: Another trend to continue on Thursday night was the power play. Flin Flon was 0 for 4 on the man advantage with Estevan scoreless on three opportunities. For the series the Bombers went 0 for 19 with Estevan going 0 for 16. --- Flin Flon outshot the Bruins in every game of the series. Last night they outshot them 44 to 36. For the series they held a 236 to 183 advantage. --- The Bombers will hold their exit meetings with the players tomorrow.