FLIN FLON - It was a full 12-round heavyweight tilt between two of the SJHL's top teams, but in the end, the Flin Flon Bombers beat the Estevan Bruins 3-2 in overtime on Friday night.
Estevan opened the scoring in the first thanks to a goal by Mark Rumsey, then extended the lead to two in the second thanks to a bounce for Eric Houk on a power play.
Starting late in the second however, the Bombers started to claw back. Nathan Gagne finished up a 2-on-1 with Cabrel LaBossiere with a quick shot to the back of the net, then Mason Kaspick tied things up early in the third with a sudden shot that fooled Estevan's Boston Bilous. Both teams traded momentum throughout the third, with Estevan and Flin Flon each getting several odd-man rushes, only to be stoned cold by Bilous and Flin Flon's Cal Schell.
Estevan took a late penalty with two minutes to go, but the Bombers' powerplay couldn't convert. Overtime would be required.
In the 3-on-3 OT, much like the third period, momentum and odd-man rushes abounded, with each team able to make quick advances off each others' misses. The Bombers got the puck about a minute and a half in and led a rush, with Jeremi Tremblay leading the way with Cole Duperreault.
Duperreault took the puck on a cross-crease pass from Tremblay and was stopped on a highlight-reel Bilous save, but the puck bounced forward toward Estevan backchecker Oliver Pouliot, who had leaped forward to try and stop the play with a diving pokecheck. Pouliot, Bilous, Bruin Cody Davis and the puck piled up in the crease, with Pouliot's momentum carrying him into the crease - and the puck into the net.
Duperreault got the credit for the game-winner. Estevan's players remained on the ice and bench until after the Bombers celebrated and did their normal post-game centre ice salute. With the Bombers mostly in the dressing room, the referees confirmed the goal.
Schell made 36 saves in the win - Bilous made 25 stops in a losing effort.
The Bruins were ranked at 19th in last week's CJHL national rankings and sit second in the SJHL standings with 32 points. The Bombers, who were not nationally ranked this week, sit third with 30 points
The two teams will face off again at the Whitney Forum Saturday night.