The Flin Flon Bombers magnificant run has come to an end after a hard fought 3 to 2 shoot out loss to the Pickering Panthers.
After posting a record of 1-2-0-1 in the regulation round the Bombers found them selves in the Centennial Cup Quarter Finals.
Flin Flon was feeling very good about their game after a solid 2 to 1 OT win against the MJHL champion Dauphin Kings in their final regulation game.
This was by far the Bombers best effort in the tournament as they would prepare to face Pickering for the first time ever.
The game started well as the Maroon and White Express would build up a 2-0 early second period lead on a pair of power play goals by Jacob Vockler.
Flin Flon continued to frustrate the Panthers and found them selves getting lots of chances with the extra attacker.
Unfortunately it was a short handed goal late in the second that turned the game around for Pickering. Their leading scorer Dustin Hutton intercepted a pass in the Bombers zone and fired a quick shot past Cal Schell.
Flin Flon continued their hard play in the third but believe it or not gave up another short handed goal, this time to Mathew Altomore.
Both teams continued to press for the equalizer, but neither goalie would give an inch and we would need over time.
Zac Roy got the start for the Panthers and didn't exactly have great numbers coming in but really got in the zone after the second Bomber goal.
Cal Schell continued his fine play and once again had great rebound control and was one of the top goalies in the entire tournament. His save % of .927 was second only to Dauphin's Carson Cherepak.
The first over time settled nothing and two very tired hockey teams came out for a second extra period.
You had a feeling with how tired both clubs were the second over time wouldn't last long, and it would probabaley be an ugly goal to win it.
That's exactly what happened when Cael Cavallin barely kept the puck inside the Bomber zone and fired a quick wrist shot over the right shoulder of Cal Schell .
The shot stunned Schell, the Bombers and everyone watching inside at Affinity Place in Estevan. Give the Panthers credit they came back from two goals down to beat a good Bomber team.
Matter of fact, the Bombers only lost one game in the entire playoffs when leading after two.
Final score, Pickering 3, Flin Flon 2 in double OT. The final shots were 48 to 39 in favour of Flin Flon who went 2 for 9 on the man advantage. The two short handed goals really hurt.
This ends a tremendous run that saw the Bombers beat Battleford in 6, upset the heavilly favoured Humboldt Broncos in 5 and nearly beat the best team in the SJHL, the Estevan Bruins.
It took everything Estevan had to get by a very determined Bomber club with their HUGE mass of fans from every where in a thrilling game 7.
This tournament also showed they can play with the best teams in Canada and were only a goal away from making it to the final four in the country.
Good luck to the graduating 20 year olds, Zac Smith, Gabriel Shipper, Rylan Thiessen, Brett Wieschorster, Matt Raymond, Cole Vardy, Mason Kaspick and Cal Schell.
This was as good as a group of leaders this team has had in a long time and one of the big reasons they were able to make it so far.
I want to thank the City of Estevan for doing an incredible job hosting and really enjoyed this special opportunity.
It was great to re-connect with my broadcast collegues Nolan Kowal of the Estevan Bruins and Darnell Duff from the Dauphin Kings. Both these young men are excellent broadcasters and I really enjoyed working with both of them.
Also great to re-connect with my old broadcasting partner and chum Kenny Stelnicki, who brought his A game as usual and hasn't missed a beat at all through out the years.
A big thanks to Mike Slipp for his efforts through out the season and playoff run. I also want to thank our board op' s Raphael Saray, Jamie Smalley, Dallas Clarke and Austin Mattes.
Cheers to the Bomber nation including the players, coach's, volunteers, sponsors and of course the fans on a season to remember.
We will see you at training camp at the end of August.