It was by far their best effort of the series but the Flin Flon Bombers still came up short losing a heart breaker 2-1 in OT last night at the Whitney Forum to go down 3 games to none in the Canalta Cup Final.
After a bit of a shaky start, the Bombers skated very well and I thought had the Stars back on their heels for a good chunk of the game especially in the second and third period.
Battleford did score first for the third straight game when Holinaty capitalized on a Bomber turn over in their own zone when Layne Young intercepted a pass and found Holinaty alone in front of Zac Robidoux who was back between the pipes for game 3.
This was Holinaty's 10th of the playoffs which opened up the scoring early in the second period and looked like it may be enough offense the way that Taryn Kotchorek was stopping everything thrown in his path.
Kotchorek put on a goaltending performance for the ages stopping 42 out of 43 Bomber shots including point blank chances from Reitmeier, Zimmer, Sobkowics and a break away from Lesko in Ot. Who ever said that Battleford's goal tending was their weak spot must be watching different games than me,nothing could be further from the truith.
Jordan McCausland was the only Bomber to score as he re-directed a Mason Etter shot from the point that just sqeaked past Kotchorek mid way through the third period. This was McCausland's first game of the finals and he was certainly one of the best Bombers on the ice bringing lots of energy and winning lots of face offs at key times.
The Whitney Forum crowd was electric and did everything they could to spur the home team on. The Bombers pressed and kept going at the Stars and were constantly in their faces but could not get another puck past Kotchorek who was the best player on the ice.
The teams ended up 1-1 after regulation and both played their first over time game of the playoffs. Lesko had the best chance for the Bombers in OT when he got sent in alone on Kotchorek and fired a shot into his abdomen.
Battleford pretty much capitalized on their first really good chance when Connor Logan took a nice pass back of the Bomber net and scored high glove on Zac Robidoux for the Stars 11th straight playoff win.
The Stars are now just one win away from their first league title since 1999,and second in franchise history.
No more room for error for Flin Flon who now have the task of having to reel off 4 straight wins if they want to win the series. The ironic thing is the Stars only league championship from 1999, saw the Stars come back from 3 down to shock Weyburn, so it can be done.
The Bombers just have to take it game by game and it all starts tonight at the Whitney Forum. A solid performance from Zac Robidoux who saw his first action of the finals last night stopping 36 out of 38 Stars shots through OT.
Special teams were much better for Flin Flon as well as they ended an 0 for 12 slump on the powerplay with McCausland's goal in the third period. The Bomber penalty kill was solid shutting the door on both Star opportunities.
It was a great atmosphere at the Whitney last night and what a difference from the first two games on the weekend. You can just feel the passion as soon as you walk through the doors and that is what playoff hockey should feel like.
Hope to see you there again tonight as the Bombers will be playing for their season and will try to get the series back to the Civic Centre for game 5 Friday. We hit the air at 7:15 for the Murray GM Coach's Show and drop of the puck at 7:30.