By Craig Stein
RACES HEAT UP WITH TWO WEEKS TO GO
The Flin Flon Bombers watched the Nipawin Hawks close the Bombers’ double digit lead at the top of the Sherwood Division, thanks to a phenomenal hot streak and multiple games in hand.
Saturday night, however, the Bombers (35-13-2-3) took sole possession of first back, taking care of business with a 4-0 road win in Nipawin.
Zac Robidoux made 18 saves for his 5th shutout this season and 10th of his career.
Greyson Reitmeier (1g-1a) opened the scoring in the second period and the Bombers added three more in the third, as Jason Lavallee (1g-1a), Rylee Zimmer and Brandon Lesko all hit the net in the final frame.
Kristian Stead made 28/32 saves in goal for the Hawks (35-14-2-1).
The Bombers are two points up with the Hawks having one game in hand. They face each other one more time still, on the final day of the regular season, Tuesday March 7th in Flin Flon.
The Notre Dame Hounds lost in overtime Saturday, but the single point put them into a tie for 6th place overall.
The Estevan Bruins, fresh off clinching the Viterra Division on Friday, picked up two more points Saturday beating the Hounds 3-2 in overtime.
Matt McNeil (1g-1a), Zach Goberis and Jason Miller scored for the Bruins (33-16-1-1) and Nathan Alalouf made 29/31 saves.
The Hounds (23-21-6-1), picked up a point for a sixth straight game and that has them in a three way tie for 6th place with Yorkton and Weyburn. That pack of three are all just two points back of Humboldt for 5th and two up on 9th place Kindersley.
Chance Longjohn and Colby Brandt both scored on Saturday. Benjamin Patt made 25/28 stops.
Coby Downs scored all three goals for his club as the Battlefords North Stars blanked the visiting Humboldt Broncos 3-0.
Joel Gryzbowski made 23 saves, picking up his 5th shutout of the year.
At the other end, Garrett Mason was kept busy stopping 40 of 42 shots sent his way, before Downs completed the hat trick with an empty-netter.
The North Stars (44-8-1-0) clinched their second straight regular season pennant on Friday, while Saturday, they eclipsed last season’s win total with their 44th. Winners of seven straight, if they ran the table in their last five, they’d finish with 49 wins and 99 points.
The Melville Millionaires have narrowed the gap to six points for that final playoff spot, with a big 3-2 overtime win over Kindersley.
Melville (19-30-2-0) is six back of Melfort with seven games remaining and one in hand on the Mustangs.
The Millionaires and Klippers traded goals all night with Dayton Heino scoring the winner just 33 seconds into overtime. Aaran Aragon and Alex Maticic added the goals in regulation and Colby Entz made an incredible 55 saves on 57 shots.
Justen Close made 29/32 saves for the Klippers (24-27-3-0) while defensemen Holden Daley and Brody Ryberg did the scoring. Kindersley wraps up their four game road trip where they visited Yorkton and Melville twice each. They went to overtime three times, and leave with a 1-1-2 record. The Klippers are 9th but just two points out of 6th.
Jacob Wozney scored three times, propelling the Weyburn Red Wings to a 9-2 win over La Ronge.
Connor Burk scored twice, while Carson Rose and Cole Woodliffe had three assists each. Ian Parker (1g-2a), Blake Dempsey, Tyran Brown and Ben Hiltz all hit the sheet. The Wings (24-23-1-4) are tied for 6th with both Yorkton and Notre Dame.
Curtis Peck and Derek Patter replied for the Ice Wolves (6-42-1-4).