Written by Nick Nielsen
The cards were stacked against the Kindersley Jr. A Klippers when they first arrived in Flin Flon on Friday. With six players out on injury and Matt Mazzocchi serving the first of a two game suspension, they were down to 11 forwards before the game started. They were also on just a day’s rest from their last game, while the Bombers had not played since Tuesday and had been home for two.
Top all of that off with the fact that the Klippers were to be playing in the Whitney Forum, one of the most hostile and unique rinks in the league, and a quick start from the Klippers was not what anyone expected. Despite the quick start however, the Klippers ultimately fell 4-0 as part of an extended shutout streak for Bombers’ goaltender Cal Schell.
The Klippers started off strong in part to their newcomer Chase Freidt-Mohr, and 03 born defenceman from the Spokane Chiefs who added a little physicality and slotted into the powerplay early with all of the injuries the team had. The first man advantage the Klippers got had them earn three shots in the first five minutes of the game, and their second just a few minutes later started to taper off.
Noah Lindsay had the best chance of the period when he got the puck in the slot and turned to fire without anyone in front of him, but Schell got the blocker out to make the save.
After the Klippers killed off a penalty of their own, their lineup got a little shorter when Ethan King was checked from behind in the last minute by Nathan Gagne, and while King did get up under his own power, both mean would leave the game.
After 1: Klippers 0 – 0 Bombers, shots 14-8 Klippers
Charles Obobaifo did not have a good start to the second period for the Klippers. He got nabbed for tripping before the powerplay could end, and once he left the box, he was called for charging after a hard hit near the Bombers bench, and that seemed to set the pace for the period.
Even when the Klippers got their man advantage, it was short lived to a 4-on-4, and on that opened up ice the Bombers finally broke the ice thanks to Xavier Lapointe leading the rush as a defenceman, crossing the middle of the blue line, then straight up blowing a wrist shot past Brett Sweet just under nine minutes left.
Shortly after the goal, it looked like the Klippers got a spark when Cash Arnsten was crosschecked down behind the play by Jaeden Mercier, and while Arnsten took exception, he got a chance for revenge within the rules in a collosal centre ice hit on Mercier. Right in the chest with his shoulder, about as close to centre as possible, freed the puck up, perfect.
Unfortunately, just as the Klippers were getting some momentum, their deficit grew. The Bombers dumped the puck in and Jakob Vockler went into the corner after it. He was bumped and the puck jumped free right into the slot for Zak Smith, and his onetimer was past Sweet before he could even react with 7:15 left.
Less than a minute later, and the Bombers extended their lead again on another bad break. With a scrum at the blue line near the Bombers bench, the Klippers tried to clear the puck but it hit the skate of an official on the opposite wall. Jordan Pfoh scooped the puck out of the pile and centred it for a streaking Jeremi Tremblay, and he took the open lane across the crease and reached around with his backhand to put the puck into the net.
After 2: Klippers 0 – 3 Bombers, shots 21-20 Klippers, 12-7 Bombers in the period
The third period didn’t have too much to offer as the Klippers continued to run out of gas. A single penalty was handed out to Sweet after he covered the puck up behind the net while trying to retrieve his stick near the halfway point of the period, and the Bombers capitalized for the first only time of the game. Again on the rush, it was again Tremblay as he took a drop pass and fired a similar shot.
The Klippers managed just five shots through the entire period compared to the Bombers’ 12, and Bombers goaltender Cal Schell finished the game with a shutout, extending his shutout streak to 131:57.
FINAL: Klippers 0 – 4 Bombers, shots 32-26 Bombers, 12-5 Bombers