Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Stars Face Elimination After Game Three Loss.

The Flin Flon Bombers have taken a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five Bauer Conference Survivor Series. Monday night in Flin Flon, the Bombers went 3-8 on the power-play, and scored five unanswered in the third period to defeat the Battlefords North Stars 7-2.

Discipline was a real problem for the Stars throughout the game, and the Bombers took advantage early. Andrew Johnston notched his second of the series at 5:55 of the first period to give the home team a 1-0 lead. Johnston converted on a back-hand rebound after Birch made an initial save off of Ryan Fox.

The Stars rebounded with a short-handed goal from Kyle Hall at 10:23. Hall received a nice pass from Braedon Johnson on the two-on-one and made no mistake.

Dylan Balaski helped restore the lead for Flin Flon with his first of the series at 14:37. The Bombers took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.

Early in the second, the Stars tied it up. Cole Gibson centered a beautiful pass through the crease, where Brody Luhning was waiting back-door and beat P.J. Musico for his second of the playoffs.

The rest of the second period went back and forth. The North Stars had a tremendous opportunity to take the lead when Cole Gibson and Colin Phaneuf skated in two-on-nothing while short-handed. Phaneuf was denied point-blank by P.J. Musico and the game stayed tied.

Late in the second, a lack of discipline once again cost the Stars. With only 19 second left in the second, Colin Phaneuf took a high-sticking penalty behind the play. Phaneuf didn't like the call, and was given an extra two-minutes for arguing.

Flin Flon made no mistake early in the third. Corey Tyrell made it 3-2 on a one-timer from the point. Kyle Birch had no way of seeing the shot through all of the traffic, and to his credit, Tyrell fired an absolute bomb from the right point.

The Bombers increased their lead 1:44 later when Ryan Fox put home a lose puck in front of the Stars goal.

After that, the wheels fell off. Jesse Mychan, Jay Young and Dillon McCombie all converted on their opportunities, and the score was 7-2 with only 1:10 remaining.

Adding insult to injury, Bomber's forward Ashton Bernard went after Mitch Galbraith in the final minute. Bernard and Galbraith had a brief fight. But when all was said and done, Bernard was assessed two minutes for checking to the head, two minutes for instigating, a five-minute major for fighting, two ten minute misconducts, and a game misconduct. One would assume that Bernard will face the possiblity of further discipline for his antics.

Galbraith avoided injury, and was able to hold his own against Bernard, and his efforts were properly condoned by Ken Pearson during the post-game show.

After the game, Pearson hinted that certain players played great, while others "stunk it up." Bad penalties, and a lack of net-traffic were other factors that the coach was not happy about.

"I don't care if I have to play six forwards, and three defenceman tomorrow night. I'm going with the best lineup possible to win and take the series back to North Battleford," said Ken Pearson.

The Stars and Bombers go head-to-head tonight in Game Four of the Bauer Conference Survivor Series. The puck drops at 7:30 from the Whitney Forum.

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