After a slow opening seven minutes, it looked like the Bombers were poised to grab a share of the final overall SJHL playoff spot.
Doell opened up the scoring for the Hawks at 5:56, before the Bombers took over the rest of the first period. Austin Evans would score his tenth and eleventh of the season both on the power play. It looked like the Bombers were in control when Parker Evans Campbell scored his ninth of the year early in the second to put the Bombers up 3-1. Campbell took a beautiful feed from Hounsell, raced in on O'brien beating him top shelf glove side.
The Hawks would get back in the game when the Bomber defense started to cough up the puck on a regular basis. Nipawin scored four straight goals all on Bomber turn overs including a short handed goal by Tad Kozun which stood up as the game winner at the 4:22 mark of the third period. Flin Flon had done a good job the last three games
containig Kozun, who finally made his presence felt. The Hawks avenged the loss to Flin Flon on Saturday by coming from behind Tuesday 5-3.
This is a costly loss for the Bombers who now trail Weyburn by three points and Nipawin by four for the final playoff spot. The Bombers and Wings have both played 52 games while the Hawks have played 51. The good news for the Bombers is three of their last four games are at home including Melfort this Saturday, Yorkton on Friday February the 28th and Laronge Saturday March the 1st. The Bomber's lone road game is in Melfort to close out the season Tuesday March the fourth.
The Wings and Hawks do have tougher schedules with Weyburn closing out the season with two games against Estevan, Yorkton and Battleford. Nipawin still has to play Melfort twice, Laronge, Battleford and Kindersley.
One thing for sure it will be very interesting and every game will count. The new look playoff structure for the league looks like a big win especially for the fans, with every game meaning so much.
Flin Flon will focus their attention on the Melfort Mustangs who come to town Saturday. The season series is even at three games apiece with Flin Flon winning the most recent meeting 6-4 on February the seventh. The Mustangs have been the hottest team in the Sherwood and have been able to pull away from the pack by going 7-3 in their last ten.
Melfort sits in top spot with 52 points, four more than Nipawin with a game in hand. They still play a home and home before the season wraps up. The Mustangs are the only team over .500 in the Sherwood in the last ten games, so the division title seems very likely, unless they totally collapse.
The head to head matchups with Flin Flon could determine whether Melfort gets the division title and a third place seeding for the playoffs. They will be huge for Flin Flon who need both games just to get in the playoffs. You gotta love this time of year, when every game seems to be the biggest of the season. The Bombers sit third in the Sherwood (21-29-0-2) and eleventh overall, and if the playoffs were to start tomorrow, they would be on the outside looking in.
Once again your Bomber connection 102.9 CFAR and flinflononline.com will be there with the call and the usual Murray GM Coach's Show hitting the air waves at 7:10 and play by play at 7:30, as Flin Flon gets set to host Melfort at the one and only Whitney Forum this Saturday.
It would be nice to have 1000 plus for the real extra man, as this young group continues to work extremely hard and even with the loss last night have not given up. One thing for sure in the final four games the Bombers will not be out worked what ever the out come.