The Nipawin Hawks dropped a 3-2 decision in Flin Flon on Friday night, to kick off their 2014/15 SJHL regular season.
The Hawks found themselves in penalty trouble early, but managed to kill off the first few minors against.
Special teams continued to be key, and would be for the rest of the game, as the Hawks would tally a power play marker on their initial attempt.
Kris Spriggs first, on a beautiful shot, would make it 1-0 Hawks through 20 minutes of play.
Special teams again wouldn’t disappoint the Hawks, as they would set up a tic tac toe passing play, which led to Garrett Dunlop burying his first career SJHL goal into a yawning cage.
The power play marker had the Hawks up 2-0, lighting the lamp on both man advantage attempts.
Nipawin would kill 6 straight penalties, but ran into deeper trouble late in the second period.
The Black and Gold would take 3 minors, causing two separate 5 on 3 scenarios.
First it was Austin Evans, then Chris Rauckman, then Erik Pedersen, and in a span of 2:19, the Flin Flon Bombers stormed back and claimed the lead, one they would not give up.
Nipawin would try and fight back in the third, but couldn’t beat Simon Hofley, who made 36 stops in the win.
His counterpart, Joe O’Brien, also had a great night in the crease.
Flin Flon didn’t throw a lot of quality chances toward the Hawks cage, but when called upon, O’Brien came up large.
He finished the night with 44 saves.
The Hawks ended the night going 2/9 on the power play, which looked much improved from last year, while the Bombers went 3/13.
Hawks Head Coach Doug Johnson says his team needs to stay disciplined and work on a few things heading into Saturday’s rematch and home opener, but he liked what he saw from certain players.
This game had some offense, physicality, dramatics, and areas of sloppy play, but all in all, fans were treated to an entertaining hockey game.
Rauckman, Pedersen, Parker Evans-Campbell, Spriggs, and Dunlop all finished with multi-point nights, for their respective clubs.
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