The 2022 Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League final matchup has been set, with the No. 1 seed Estevan Bruins to face the No. 5 Flin Flon Bombers. A league champion has not been named since the Battlefords North Stars won it all back in 2019, so it is fitting that two of the SJHL’s best squads, located an incredible 800 kilometres apart, will square off to win the first championship in this decade.
The Estevan Bruins have not won the league since they won it back in 1999, while the Flin Flon Bombers have to go back even further, to 1993, for their last championship. Estevan was last in the final in 2018, when they fell to the Nipawin Hawks, and the Bombers last took their shot the year before, in 2017, when they were beaten by Battlefords.
Both teams qualify for the Centennial Cup, the Junior ‘A’ National Championship, as Estevan is the host, and therefore Flin Flon is awarded the SJHL’s entry into the competition in late May.
Here is a breakdown of the final matchup.
(1) Estevan Bruins vs. (5) Flin Flon Bombers
Regular Season Head-to-Head: Estevan was the winner of three of four, while the only Flin Flon victory came in overtime.
Oct 20th – 3-1 Bruins win at Affinity Place, Estevan
Nov 19th – 3-2 Bombers OT win at Whitney Forum, Flin Flon
Nov 20th – 3-2 Bruins win at Whitney Forum, Flin Flon
Feb 4th – 3-2 Bruins win at Affinity Place, Estevan
Combined scores: 11-8 in favour of Estevan
Likely goaltending matchup (Playoff Stats): Estevan – Boston Bilous (8-0-1, 1.58 GAA, .938 SV%); Flin Flon – Cal Schell (8-2-1, 2.22 GAA, .932 SV%)
Estevan Playoff Stats:
PP: 25.6% (11/43)
PK: 93.5% (29/31), 4 SHGF
Leading scorers: Olivier Pouliot, 6-11-17; Mark Rumsey, 6-6-12; Eric Pearce, 8-3-11
Flin Flon Playoff Stats:
PP: 16.7% (7/42)
PK: 82.4% (28/34), 0 SHGF
Leading scorers: Gabriel Shipper, 4-6-10; Rylan Thiessen, 2-8-10; Drew Kuzma, 6-3-9