In the playoffs more often than not it’s about how a team starts. Going into Game 3 in the Canalta Cup Finals, both the Flin Flon Bombers and Melfort Mustangs had perfect records when scoring first, Flin Flon 8-0 and Melfort 5-0.
Things changed on Tuesday night in the Whitney Forum in front of a packed house of 1507 fans. Melfort held off a hot Flin Flon start and Travis Mayan opened the scoring 4:26 into the first period, but that wasn’t enough as Flin Flon would score four straight en route to a 4-2 win, and a 2-1 series lead.
Mayan picked up a loose puck near Bombers goalie Brenden Newton (Medicine Hat, AB) and put a shot up glove side. Newton was solid in the pipes all night, making 34 saves for his 7th win of the post season.
Melfort held the 1-0 lead for ten minutes before Alex Smith (Edmonton, AB) finally put one past Mustangs starter Evan Plotnik on the power play from Joel Kocur (Edson, AB) and Curtis Roach (Saskatoon, SK).
Penalties were another story in Game 3. Shortly after Smith’s tying goal, Flin Flon found themselves in penalty trouble. After Jason Lavallee (Thetford Mines, QC) took a five minute major for Charging, Smith would be called for an elbow less than a minute later putting the Bombers down two men for a full two minutes.
After killing off both penalties, Rylee Zimmer would fire a shot high blocker side giving the Bombers the lead with his fourth of the post season unassisted.
Greyson Reitmeier (Nakusp, BC) would open up the third period with a shorthanded goal and Brandon Switzer (Brandon, MB) rounded out the Bombers scoring a minute later on the power play from Smith.
Mayan scored late on the power play to cut the Flin Flon lead to two but that’s all they could get past Newton.
Flin Flon will look to take a strangle hold of the series tonight when they host Game 4.
ICE CHIPS: Flin Flon was 2 for 7 on the power play with Melfort going 1 for 8. --- WCC Round Up: The first league champion going to Estevan for the Western Canada Cup was crowned last night. The defending RBC Cup champion Portage Terriers took Game 5 last night 5-1, giving them their second straight MJHL Championship. --- In BC West Kelowna holds a 3-1 series lead after defeating the Chilliwack Chiefs 3-2 in OT last night. -- In Alberta the defending Spruce Grove Saints are on the brink of elimination after the Brooks Bandits edged the Saints 4-2 to take a 3-1 series lead.