When Mike Reagan acquired Chris Rauckman from Drumheller of the AJHL in part of the futures for allstar netminder Devin Buffalo, Reagan said that he had the potential to score 40 goals this season.
Well, he has 4 in 2 games including his first SJHL career hat trick in a 5-4 shoot out loss in Nipawin on Saturday night. Rauckman scored on the power play, even strength and added one short handed too in a very dominating performance.
Rauckman has a great release and blew 3 shots by the very strong Joe O'brien who seemed to handle most of the other shots fired in his direction both nights.
After an early 1-0 lead for the Bombers, when Rauckman scored on a break away to open up the scoring at 9:57, the Hawks started to take control.
Spriggs and Dunlop would score on the power play for Nipawin at 6:57 and 9:52 to take a 2-1 lead in the second. Rauckman would answer on the power play, before Coben would put the Hawks up 3-2 with another powerplay goal at 16:09.
Once again the Bombers would tie it at 3 when Rauckman would score short handed at 17:48. Flin Flon appeared to have the momentum until Dunlop would make the Bombers pay on a bad clearing attempt and flipped a back hand over Simon Hofley's right shoulder to put the Hawks up 4-3 after 2.
Despite being out shot 21-7 in the third period, Flin Flon scored the only goal in the third , when the very talented Eric Pedersen scored on the power play at 9:58.
Pedersen was able to jam a rebound between Joe O'Brien' s pads on a mad scramble in front of the Hawk net.
Nipawin pressed for pretty much the rest of the final frame but could not re-take the lead. Over time settled nothing, so it was on to the shoot out to decide it.
The shoot out went 5 rounds before Chase Thudium scored with a low wrist shot, low glove side on Bomber net minder Hofley. What makes this one sting a little more for the Bombers, was captain Dean Allison fired one of the cross bar just seconds before.
Flin Flon takes 3 out of a possible 4 points from a feisty Nipawin team after a come from behind win on Friday. With 1,226 fans in attendance for the home opener, Flin Flon was able to erase a 2-0 deficit with 3 straight power play goals by: Evans, Rauckman and Pedersen.
This game was all about the special teams with 18 minor penalty's being assessed, so there was not a lot of 5 on 5. Mike Reagan mentioned on the 102.9 CFAR post game show he was dissapointed that he could not get his fouth line out there more because of all the odd man situations.
Here is the stats breakdown from the 2 games.
Total shots Flin Flon 82, Nipawin 88
Power plays Flin Flon 5 for 14, Nipawin 5 for 17.
I thought both games were very entertaining and predict a very good season for the Bombers, who should be one of the quickest deepest teams in the entire league.
Mike Reagan has some tough decisions ahead of him as he still has an abundance of players in town, and will have to move some players and start going with a set lineup.
Logan Harland who was just released from the Saskatoon Blades, played both games and seems to have already made the adjustment to playing in the SJHL. Flin Flon is still owed one more player from Drumheller in the Devin Buffalo trade from last year, and word is Mike Reagan will be making his selection this week.
Next up for the Bombers, will be the Melfort Mustangs who split a pair of games with Laronge on the opening weekend. Flin Flon and Melfort are considered the top 2 teams in the Sherwood Division this season, so this should be a great contest to kick off the early part of the schedule.
All the action on 102.9 CFAR and flinflonnline.com this Wednesday, starting with the Murray GM Coach's Show at 8:15 MB time and drop of the puck at 8:30.