While it was almost a certainty coming in that the Ice Wolves would clinch first overall in the SJHL, it was still nice they were able to do it on home ice. However, it would have also been nice for the game to be a hard fought affair that the Wolves had to battle out a win, kind of like Tuesday.
The Bombers leaving the building (at least in spirit) late in the first period and leaving everyone wondering what happened was not what I had in mind. I've grown accustomed to seeing a certain level of compete and ferocity from the Bombers this season, and I was very disappointed (not as disappointed as Mike Reagan I'm sure) about how Flin Flon played. When they lost by eight earlier this year they competed harder than they did at the Mel on Wednesday.
Sorry Bomber fans, there isn't a lot I can do to sugar coat this one, so I'm not going to try.
Because of what was going on in the game this made for a tough broadcasts. Believe it or not, a blow out when the team you're calling for is bad enough to commentate. A game when the team your calling for gets blown out it's even worse. A combination between the two is horrendous. Usually Ice Wolves-centric, it's tough enough switching your focus to another team. Even worse when that team is playing bad. I think Curtis and I tried to gloss over it too much in the second period. We decided to let up on that in the third and it seemed to work much better. Good learning experience. Also, I didn't say the wrong radio station or sponsor once. Yay for me.
Back to the game. I'm not going to run through this one goal by goal because it would take me awhile, I'll catch some of the key points. The big one was Lindensmith's goal late in the first. Off the dump in, the puck came flying off the back boards and right past Graham as he went to play the puck. It went straight to Lindensmith and he popped it in the net. This just seemed to take everything out of the Bombers, who until about that point had played a decent first period on the road. Logan Herauf scores just under a minute later, and the Ice Wolves are off and running.
Sticking with Lindensmith, he picked up an assist to become the team's single season assist leader giving him both the career mark and the season mark. He needs 13 points to track down the Ice Wolves' career points record. It was a good milestone night for him as Lindensmith also picked up his 30th goal of the season, making him the third Wolf to the mark.
Bob Beatty was rewarded last night for his Hearuf/Dieno/Enns experiment. Though the line has been struggling to find good chemistry in their games together, it seemed to finally click against the Bombers. The line combined for ten points (Enns 3, Herauf 3, Dieno 4) and was pretty solid on a couple powerplays, picking up a couple of goals.
Though their start was kind of suspect, the Wolves found their game and just controlled the Bombers. I don't have time on attack stats, but it would be an astronomical difference between the Wolves/Bombers. All in all a pretty solid game for the Ice Wolves dismal for the Bombers. The last time Flin Flon got slapped around by La Ronge, they turned it around with a huge winning streak. Can they pull it off this time around?
1. Rhyse Dieno - LR - 1 G, 3 A - Now tied for 11th on the Rookie Scoring list, Dieno has been on a roll since getting some time on the first line with Carre and Eggum. With the injuries plaguing La Ronge right now, it was his chance to step up and he's done just that. Wolves will hope to keep him in the lineup for next year and see just what kind of numbers he can put up.
2. Aaron Enns - LR - 2 G, 1 A - Usually called upon to be the physical presence against Flin Flon, he found himself strangely untaxed. This freed him up to score a couple of goals (albeit one of them a lucky bounce with 0.3 seconds left in the third). Enns will be an important piece of this team in the playoffs matching the grit of other teams.
3. Randy Graham - FF - 47 saves - The only Bomber that played past the first period. Once again Randy Graham did his best holding the line against the Ice Wolves and deserved a better fate. A tough night in net, but Randy Graham has proven to his coaching staff that he's a battler and that should go a long way.
The Ice Wolves get a week long break to watch the rest of the playoff picture solidify. They found out yesterday the series with the Suvivor series winner will begin on March 4th. That means two weeks between games for the Ice Wolves. Sure whoever wins that survivor series will be beaten up pretty good, but they'll be in playoff form while the Ice Wolves could be pretty rusty. Not a fan of the survivor series.
Until next week! (or something shiny catches my attention and I write about it)