After a strong effort against Weyburn, the Wolves needed that effort to carry on against Flin Flon Saturday night. The Ice Wolves, as Coach Beatty would say, “played Ice Wolves’ Hockey” for sixty minutes Saturday and the Bombers couldn't hold them back.
The Wolves took the game at a 5-1 score, and this one got a little wacky. It’s always a great time at the Whitney Forum, although I don’t think many of the fans were too happy with how this one turned out.
Read of for a recap of the Wolves third visit to the Forum.
A lot of this recap will be focused on a solid game from the Ice Wolves, but ironically enough; the Bombers would hold the first lead of the game. For the second game in a row, the Wolves ran most of the play in the first, but didn’t come out with a lead. Late in the opening frame, Tanner Korchinski grabbed the puck behind his own net and took it end to end. He threw the puck on net and Brett Penner knocked it in. They gave the goal to Korchinski, and we’ll see if that changes in the next couple of days. Regardless of who got the powerplay marker, the Bombers took a 1-0 lead into the intermission.
The second period would change the game entirely. Marc-Andre Carre got the Ice Wolves even early in the period, and then things got a little crazy. With the Wolves already on the powerplay, Korchinski got a knee out on Carre and that drew a 5 minute major, and the ire of the fans. Carre was shaken up on the play and looked like he was in bad shape coming off the ice. After some stretching and a couple breaks where he was able to skate a bit, he would return. More on Carre in a bit. With the 5-on-3 going, Aaron Enns ripped a pass backdoor to Phil Cliché who popped in the go ahead goal. This is when the Bomber faithful really got annoyed… but it was about to get worse.
After David Roper was nailed with a ten minute misconduct and the Wolves still on the man advantage, Carre returned to the ice. This irked the fans as it was, but then he would add to the Wolves goal total, making it 3-1. It was a gutsy effort tonight from Carre who took a beating through the 60 minutes.
The Wolves took some penalties of their own in the period, but the penalty kill was superb (with exception of the Bombers first goal). The kill came up big when La Ronge needed to keep the Bombers down. Because the Wolves held the Bombers’ powerplay of the scoresheet in the second, it gave the Pack a chance to stretch the lead… which they did. Courtesy of the first line, Travis Eggum picked up his 45th goal of the season as he nears the 50 goal mark. He added three assists as well and took over the SJHL scoring lead.
The third period was relatively quiet, as the Wolves just held the Bombers out of their end and couldn’t really get much going in the offensive zone. The Wolves would add one more, though. On the penalty kill, Nathan Boyer turned up the pressure in the Bombers’ end forcing Tanner Clark into throwing the puck in the middle where Graham Smerek was waiting. Smerek suddenly found himself alone in front of P.J. Musico with nobody else in the area. The young Ice Wolves’ forward did what any self-respecting penalty killer does in that kind of situation and snapped the puck through Musico, giving the Wolves their 5-1 lead.
There were a couple solid tilts in this game. First it was Stephen Cook and Jesse Mychan dropping the gloves. Mychan got in a solid first shot, but Cook used his size advantage and took over from there and eventually landed the take down. Next up were Ryan Fox and Dayton Fossum. The fight was largely a draw with both players landing good blows, then Fossum ended it with a wrestling style take down.
Adam Bartko wasn’t tested often, but was solid when called upon. It was pretty business as usual for the 6’4 netminder who has been lights out of late. The win gives him 22 on the season and sets a new franchise record for wins by a goaltender. Yet another Wolves record taken care of. Not only was it the franchise record, but Bartko took over the league lead in wins as well.
“Solid” seems to be the word of the night, and that’s what this was. It wasn’t a hugely dominant game from the Ice Wolves, though they outshot Flin Flon 52-27. They had a job to do and went out and did it. When things got a little out of hand, they maintained their composure and took advantage of the opportunities they were given.
1. Travis Eggum – LR – 1 G, 3 A – Now the SJHL scoring leader, Eggum continues to prove this season is no fluke. He was a playmaker tonight, setting up three goals and was in on all of the Ice Wolves markers aside from Smerek’s shortie.
2. Marc-Andre Carre – LR – 2 G, 1 A – The Bombers tried to get Carre off his game by playing physical, but it just seemed to push the nineteen year old forward to up his game. He continues to show why he is one of the league’s most dynamic players… and he’ll be an Ice Wolf next year.
3. Rhyse Dieno – LR – 2A – With Doug Lindensmith out of the lineup again, Dieno got the call to play on the top line once more. His second multi-point game in a row gets him his second star mention in a row. His presence on the line seems to energize the 20 year olds and it looks like they have fun playing together.
As I mentioned on the broadcast we were having some bus trouble. Apparently said bus won’t move anymore, which hinders the get home efforts. We’re chilling out in a banquet room at a hotel in Flin Flon waiting for our alternate transportation to arrive. Current time: 1:43… and counting, we’ll see how much longer the wait ends up being. Good thing the guys have the day off tomorrow and a week in between games, otherwise tomorrow would have been a little rough.
[Post Script] The replacement bus finally arrived at just after 3:00. We left Flin Flon shortly after and got home around 7:30. Quite the night.
Have a great rest of the weekend!