A pair of losses on the weekend to the Battlefords North Stars didn’t clear up the Bombers playoff picture.
Flin Flon (32-19-0-4) went into North Battleford (40-11-2-2) to take on the SJHL leading North Stars looking to make some ground on the fourth place Nipawin Hawks, but a 9-1 blowout on Friday, and a 5-2 loss on Saturday has them battling it out for fourth, fifth and now sixth.
“Yeah, we’re disappointed with the weekend, but we feel confident enough in that group of guys to turn it around in the next week and set us up for a long playoff run,” said Head Coach and General Manager Mike Reagan.
After back to back shutouts in his last two starts, Zac Robidoux (Winnipeg, MB) had an off night Friday, allowing nine goals on 41 Battlefords shots.
Greyson Reitmeier (Nakusp, BC) scored the lone goal 1:03 into the third period, but at that time the North Stars were up 7-1. Jason Lavalle (Thetford-Mines, QC) and Joel Kocur (Edson, AB) each picked up assists.
Flin Flon was shorthanded 14 times allowing the Stars to capitalize on five man advantages; Flin Flon was on the power play three times, going scoreless.
“We have to stay out of the penalty box,” commented Reagan. “In saying that, I was happy with our guys sticking up for each other over the weekend, but we have to be way more disciplined.”
Saturday night, Kristian St. Onge (Saskatoon, SK) opened the scoring, but the Stars would tie it up just over a minute later scoring four more in the game for a 5-2 win.
Alex Smith (Edmonton, AB) would pick up his only point of the weekend on the St. Onge goal with Rylee Zimmer (Russell, MB) also adding a helper.
Lavallee would score the other Bomber goal from a returning Brandon Switzer (Brandon, MB) and Curtis Roach (Saskatoon, SK) on the power play in the third period.
Flin Flon was shorthanded five times in the contest, not allowing a goal, and picked up one power play goal on two attempts.
Flin Flon is now not only trying to catch Nipawin for fourth in the SJHL and home ice advantage in the first round, but they are also trying to hold off the Estevan Bruins who are three back of the Bombers with a game in hand. Flin Flon and Nipawin have both played the same amount of games (55).
Flin Flon will look to bounce back this weekend when they play the La Ronge Ice Wolves in a home and home series starting on Friday in Flin Flon. They finish up the schedule next Tuesday at home against the Nipawin Hawks.