By James Brohm
Sioux Lookout, ON – The Fort Frances Lakers and Sioux Lookout Bombers were both looking to start the month of December on a strong note. The Lakers had won three of their last five games, including a split series against the Dryden Ice Dogs. The Bombers were riding a five-game winning streak into tonight’s matchup. It was also the first time that recent additions to the Bombers lineup Trever Sanderson and Cobe Delaney would suit up against their former team after coming to the Bombers in separate trades.
There was no scoring through the first three quarters of the first frame. Both teams had early chances but their respective goalies shut the door to keep the game tied at zeroes. Caige Starr started off the scoring late in the period. The Bombers were hemmed in their own zone and after a couple of bounces the puck found its way yo Starr on the point. He sifted a shot in that whistled past the ear of Jack Osmond for the game’s first goal at 16:46. The newest Bombers responded less than a minute later. Cobe Delany brought the puck into the zone and a weak backhand skipped right in front of Jack Orchard but found Trever Sanderson on the other side of of the crease who made an easy tap in to tie the game at 1-1.
The second period was almost a mirror of the first. Both team subscribing to the “pucks deep” philosophy and both teams covering well defensively. This time at 15:37 Lakers’ Brady Krentz got a stick on a Clark Scaddan point shot and directed into the back of the Bombers’ net. However, with less than a minute remaining in the second period, the Bombers tied up the game again. Owen Riffel with his league-leading 19th goal of the campaign ripped a laser over the shoulder of Orchard.
The Bombers took their first lead of the game 7:18 into the third period. A clearing attempt up the middle by the Lakers was picked off by Cedrick Robidoux right at the line then picked up by Tait Howell. Howell skated across the top of the slot and fired over the blocker side shoulder of Jack Orchard. Cobe Delany scored his first goal with his new team against his former team. Coming in one-on-one, he got a jump on the Lakers’ defenseman and tucked the puck in behind the Orchard, making the score 4-2. The Lakers cut into the lead with under five minutes to go. From behind the net, Matt Wherley found Ian Snooks in the slot who made no mistake, shovelling the puck over the blocker of Osmond. The Bombers held on to win 4-3.
In an era where special teams offence is usually integral to a hockey team’s success, neither team was able to score in seven tries with the man-advantage. Jack Osmond made 29 saves for the Bombers and Jack Orchard made 25 for the Lakers. The third star was Caige Starr with the game’s first goal. Osmond picked up the second star and Cobe Delaney’s three-point night against his former team earned him first star honours.
Game two of the home and home is set for Saturday night at the Ice for Kids Arena in Fort Frances.