It was a good opening weekend for the Fin Flon Bombers and a great first weekend for forward Chris Rauckman.
Rauckman, who was acquired this past off season as part of the Devin Buffalo deal, chipped in with a goal and an assist on Friday night and added a hattrick on Saturday, as the Flin Flon Bombers took three of a possible four points on the weekend against the Nipawin Hawks.
On Friday Flin Flon found themselves down two goals before they scored their first of the season late in the second period. Austin Evans fired a shot from the high slot past a screened Joe O’Brien to bridge the gap to 2-1.
Rauckman would tie the score and before the end of the period Erik Pedersen would score the eventual game winner.
Flin Flon had to hold off the Hawks in the third as they were outshot 18-6, but outshot their opponents 47-38 overall. Goalie Simon Hofley was solid in the pipes over the weekend, and especially in the third period of both games.
On Saturday, the Bombers opened the scoring but the clubs traded goals back and forth with the Hawks taking a 5-4 win in a shootout.
Flin Flon held a 1-0 lead going into the third as Rauckman opened the scoring with his second of the season and his first of the night.
It was four goals in the second by Nipawin that may have sunk the Bombers. Despite holding the 1-0 lead, Nipawin scored two early in the second to take a 2-1 lead.
Rauckman would tie the score, but Flin Flon would be down 4-3 going into the final frame.
Pedersen scored his second of the season to tie the game and send it to extra time.
No goals in the OT period lead to the shooutout and it took five rounds before Nipawin’s Chase Thudium would score the game winner.
The Bombers will now travel to Melfort on Wednesday to play the Mustangs.
ICE CHIPS: It was a revolving door to the penalty box this weekend for both teams. Flin Flon would go 4 for 19 in the two games with the Hawks going 5 for 18. --- Flin Flon had 1,226 fans on hand for the game on Friday night. Very close to the 1,250 at last year’s home opener. --- After the road game on Wednesday, Flin Flon with host a pair of weekend games with Estevan here Friday and Humboldt here on Saturday.