By Craig Stein
In the first of three remaining head to head meetings which will go a long way in deciding who finishes at the top of the Sherwood Division, it was advantage Nipawin Hawks on Tuesday, after their 7-3 victory on the road in Flin Flon, a place where the Bombers, had only lost once in regulation all season.
The Hawks (34-13-2-1) scored five first period goals to set the pace as Josh Bly finished with two goals and two assists, and Keegan Milligan also added a pair of goals, and one helper. Brett Harasymuk (1g-1a), Grant Baetsen and Michael Grant rounded out the scoring and Kristian Stead made 40/43 saves.
Kristian St. Onge (1g-1a) and Tyler Nyman each scored for the Bombers (34-13-2-3).
The Hawks are now just two points back of Flin Flon, still with two games in hand and still with two head to head meetings to go, the next of which is Saturday in Nipawin. The season finale for both teams goes March 7th in Flin Flon.
The Kindersley Klippers kicked off a four game, Yorkton-Melville-Yorkton-Melville road trip Tuesday in Yorkton, and the Terriers (24-25-4-0) picked up the extra point in a tight playoff race with a 5-4 win in overtime.
Jordan Ross scored his 13th of the season just over a minute into the extra frame as the Terriers moved into sole possession of 6th place overall in the standings. Jared Legien scored twice and had an assist while Dakota Odgers (1g-1a) and Dexter Robinson also found the net. Matt Vernon stopped 41 of the 45 shots he faced.
Branden Wagner (2g), Sam Binfet (1g-2a) and Jake Gerbner (3a) all had multi-point nights for the Klippers and Cody Hodgson rounded out the scoring.
The Klippers (23-26-2-0) now sit alone in 9th place.
The Notre Dame Hounds stayed ahead of the Klippers in the standings with a 5-1 win over the visiting Estevan Bruins.
The Hounds (22-21-5-1) are alone in 8th, but just one point back of Weyburn and two behind Yorkton, and have a better winning percentage than both teams they’re chasing as they hold games in hand. Ben Duperreault had a goal and an assist, bumping his league-leading totals to 36-goals and 73-points, and those were points 100 and 101 in his 73rd career SJHL game. Chance Longjohn scored twice with Chaz Smedsrud and James Piller adding the others. Benjamin Patt continued his fine form since returning to Wilcox, making 30/31 saves, improving his mark to 6-4, 2.41, .930% this season.
Evan Scott scored his first SJHL goal for the Bruins (31-16-1-1). Estevan needs one more win or a Weyburn loss to clinch the Viterra Division.