ESTEVAN, SK. – Jaden Mercier scored and added three assists as the Flin Flon Bombers cruised to a 6-1 win over the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League champion Soo Thunderbirds in their first game of the Centennial Cup.
Cal Schell made 16 of 17 saves for the win in the Bombers’ net, while Noah Metivier stopped 24 of 30 Flin Flon shots for the Soo.
Jaxon Martens opened the Bombers’ account at the 13:36-mark of the opening frame when his long-range pulled from the top of the left circle went post and in, and then Drew Kuzma doubled the lead under three minutes later, as he out-muscled the Thunderbirds’ defence off a rebound in tight.
Jacob Vockler extended the lead with eight minutes remaining in the second period when he one-timed home a pretty Jaeden Mercier feed on a Flin Flon power play, and then after the Soo’s Michael Chaffey got one back early in the third, Xavier Lapointe’s wrister from the left point beat a screened Metivier to re-establish the three-goal advantage.
Mercier and Brett Wieschorster sweetened the scoreline for the SJHL club with finishes just over a minute apart midway through the final period, the Bombers put it in cruise control the rest of the way.
The victory came 13 days after Flin Flon’s Game 7 defeat to the Estevan Bruins in the league final, on the same rink. It was the Bombers’ first victory in six tries at Affinity Place this season.
Find the full game summary on the Hockey Canada website here.
Flin Flon’s next opponent will be Central Canadian Hockey League champion Ottawa Jr. Senators on the afternoon of 21 May. The host Bruins open their Centennial tomorrow night vs. Longueuil Collège-Français; the puck drops at 7:30 P.M. local.