Bombers Win Semifinal Showdown

By James Brohm

Sioux Lookout, ON – With the Bombers up three games to one in the series, there was a lot on the line for both teams in tonight’s matchup. The Bombers were looking to close out the series on home ice for their first chance to play for the league title. The North Stars were trying to extend their season and have a chance to repeat as Bill Salonen Cup finalists. The Thursday night affair at the Hangar attracted a near capacity crowd of 578.

Connor Burke gave the Bombers an early lead in the game on the power play at 5:40 of the first period. The Bombers were moving the puck well with the man advantage. Burke, waiting on the right faceoff dot, moved in when he saw a rebound off Keenan Marks’ pad and buried it behind him. Despite being outshot 13 to 9 by the North Stars, the Bombers held a 1-0 lead going to intermission.

The visiting team continued to apply pressure and registered 16 shots to the Bombers’ 8 in the second period. The lone goal of the frame came at 12:52 . EJ Paddington took a centering pass from Edison Weeks and made no mistake from the slot.

Tait Howell gave the Bombers their second lead of the evening at 7:37 into the third period. His unassisted goal was his first of the post-season. Thunder Bay would not give up. Beau Helmeczi scored off the faceoff. Moving the puck forward on the draw, Helmeczi placed a quick shot through the wickets of Jack Osmond to tie the game at 2-2. Bombers’ captain Nolan Palmer put his team up again by a goal on the power play at 14:09. With 13 seconds left in regulation, Owen Cotter scored the Bombers’ fourth goal of the night and put the game out of reach for the North Stars.

Keenan Marks had 28 saves on 21 shot on the night. Jack Osmond was busier and made some saves at key times of the game that were essential to the Bomber’s win. The third star was Cobe Delany who had one assist but his physical play was integral to the Bombers’ success. Jack Osmond’s 43 save performance earned the second star. Bombers’ captain Nolan Palmer was the first star with the game winning goal.

Sioux Lookout with face off against Kam River in the finals when the playoffs resume