The Battleford Stars have taken the first two games of the SJHL Canalta Cup Final by scores of 3-0 and 5-1 at the Battleford Civic Centre this past weekend.
You could tell that both these teams hadn't seen each other since December as there was a real feeling out process in the first period Friday and was one heck of a slow game for a league final.
Saying that the Stars did what they had to do scoring a goal in each period including the game winner from captain Kendall Fransoo who suited up for his first playoff game of the year on Friday night.
Coby Downs won a face off directly back to Fransoo and he let a wrist shot go from the point that fooled Brenden Newton and made it's way into the back of the net to give the Stars a 1-0 lead after 1.
Insurance goals came from Holinaty and Sych, and that was way more than enough insurance for Taryn Kotchorek who only had to make 19 saves for the win. Most of those shots came from the perimeter and I thought the Bombers only managed a couple of good scoring oppurtunities in close all game.
Mike Reagan said on the 102.9 CFAR Post Game Show that his team looked tired and would be much better for game 2 Saturday.
Flin Flon did come out and had a much better first period in game 2 and looked like they were going to strike at any time before a piece of plexi glass broke which led to a delay late in the first period.
The Stars were able to rebound after the break and once again scored the first goal when Delainey re-directed a puck past Newton with just over 3 minutes remaining in the first period. The Stars were not done there as Layne Young would bat a puck out of the air with only 2 seconds remaining in the opening frame when he was left all alone in front of the Bomber net.
Battleford would take a 2-0 lead to the locker room and after a couple squandered 5 on 3 opportunities for the Bombers including a goal post for Sinclair and a cross bar for Lavallee, the Stars scored again in the second when Nachtegaele completed the nice pass from Jensen to make it 3-0 Stars.
The Bombers continued to battle hard and got rewarded with their first goal of the final when Daylan Marchi converted a nice feed from Brandon Lesko for his first ever SJHL playoff goal late in the second period.
It looked exactly like the break the Bombers needed, but they couldn't get any more pucks past Joel Grzybowski who started game 2 making 31 saves picking up his third win of the playoffs.
Battleford got a couple more insurance goals in the third from Downs and Holinaty to win game two 5-1.
Overall a much better effort from the Bombers in the second game but still find themselvers down 2 games to none with the series switching back to the Whitney Forum for games 3 and 4 Tuesday and Wednesday.
Brenden Newton started both games and played very well stopping 63 out of 71 shots and I would think would start game 3. The Bomber powerplay will have to get better they are 0 for 9 in the two games including a couple of 5 on 3's.
Mike Reagan and the Bomber players have hardly given up and like their chances back at the Whitney where they only lost 3 games all season. Flin Flon also lost the opening two games to Nipawin in the Semi- Final and were able to fight their way back to win the series.
We have talked about it lots, the character and leadership of this group and I can tell you right now the Bombers are confident they can still win this thing and realize a win Tuesday gets them right back in the series.
Full marks to the Stars who didn't get to the final by accident. They are a very deep team that has won 10 straight in the post season and been very opportunistic and don't make many mistakes.
The loud and proud Whitney Forum will be a good challenge for them and let's face it there is no louder building in junior hockey. I can hardly wait to see the passionate Bomber fans again this Tuesday and if they can get behind their team early look out.
Once again 102.9 CFAR and flinflononline.com will have the call including the Murray GM Coach's Show at 7:15 and play by play at 7:30.