BARRHEAD - The Barrhead Bombers could not overcome penalty trouble and a shaky penalty kill in the first period, losing 6-2 at home on Nov. 17.
Unfortunately, the Bomber could not capitalize on a solid late October-early November stretch that saw the Canadian-American Junior Hockey League Team (CAJHL) go 3-1 over two successive weekends stretching from Oct. 27 to Nov. 3, with their only loss coming to the then league leader and current defending champion, the Hinton Timberwolves.
Since then, Barrhead has gone on a slide, losing six in a row, good enough for six wins, ten losses and one overtime loss, to sit fourth in the five-team league, ahead of the winless Southern Alberta Mustangs.
The Bombers got off to a good start, scoring the first goal of the game, an even-strength marker short of the three-minute mark by Keenan Disbrowe, assisted by Lane Nolin and Christopher Vinck.
However, about two minutes later, the wheels started coming off the proverbial Barrhead bus when the Bombers took an extended penalty after Westlock native Shawn St. Arnaud for fighting and instigating (and was also ejected from the game) in retaliation for a Hinton player, Broc Chick, cross-checked his brother, Coby, from behind, in which resulted in the Timberwolves scoring a power-play goal.
The Bombers would get into further penalty trouble at the halfway mark of the first period after Austin Galway and Coby St. Arnaud took tripping and cross-checking penalties in mere seconds, which resulted in Hinton scoring two more power-play goals.
Bombers owner Aly Virani, who was behind the bench for the second time in two years in place of ailing head coach Mario Haase, said the Bombers played a good game when they were not in the penalty box.
"But it is hard to come back from something like that when you already have a short bench because of injuries," he said.
Jesse Pope stopped 36 out of 42 shots for the loss. La Crete native Riley Doerkson scored Barrhead's other goal with an assist awarded to Garrick Denchuk.
The CAJHL postponed the Bombers' next scheduled game against the Vegreville Vipers on Nov. 18 due to the team's injury situation as they would not have been able to ice a competitive team. The Bombers next play the Southern Alberta Mustangs in a three-game series this week in Stavely on Nov. 26, 27 and 28 before returning home in the middle of a three-game series on Saturday, Dec. 2, against the Hinton Timberwolves. The day before, they play the Timberwolves on the road before heading to Cold Lake to take on the Aeros.