This is a night, hockey fans have been both waiting for and looking forward to for a long time.
Another Flin Flon Bomber season will begin as the Maroon and White make their way to the Mel Hegland Uniplex to battle the Laronge Ice Wolves.
There is a lot of optimism in Bomber land as Flin Flon will bring back 12 players from last year's team and Mike Reagan has also been able to recruit some very good young talent for a very balanced roster.
The big question heading into the season was who would be between the pipes with Brenden Newton graduating and no returning goalies from last year.
Mike Reagan went out and got veteran goalie Pierce Diamond from the AJHL and he will be the starting goalie heading into the season. Reagan gave up a lot in third year forward Brody Madarash, and is expecting big things from the 20 year old out of Edmonton.
The Bombers still have three other goalies including three 18 year old's in Jacob Delorme, Hunter Young and local product Jeremy Dutcawich.
Flin Flon will be very skilled up front including, veteran forwards Nate Hooper, Brandson Heine and Daylan Marchi. It will be very interesting to see what Heine can do with a full year under his belt. He was a point a night player after arriving from the WHL after Christmas last year.
Calvon Boots and Isaac Jackson will anchor a pretty decent blue line, and both were very good in Main Camp and in the pre season. Boots should be the go to guy on the power play and I think is very capable of putting up all star numbers.
The Bombers won 24 games last year, but caught fire and looked very good after Christmas giving the eventual Canalta Cup Champion Nipawin Hawks everything they could handle in their playoff series.
I think a 40 win season is very possible.
Flin Flon will meet Laronge 10 times this season and I am also predicting a drastic improvement from the Ice Wolves who only won 10 games last year. Mind you 3 came against the Bombers. Laronge always plays Flin Flon well.
Head Coach and GM, Evan Vossen has worked very hard and has a bonified sniper in Kolby Johnson who has lots of major junior hockey experience. Johnson played last year in the QMJHL and has WHL experience with Prince George and Prince Albert. Johnson will also bring strong leadership to a young dressing room.
Laronge has lots of players returning from last year including Antonio Di Paolo, Justin Bill and veteran goalies Jordan Frey and Merek Pipes.
I expect the Wolves to come at the Bombers hard, especially tonight and if they can have a good opening weekend, it could go a long way to a better season.
No matter what go's down you will have the best seat in the house with the return of Creighton Furniture Bomber Hockey on 102.9 CFAR and flinflononline.com. We hit the air tonight with the Great North GM Coach's Show at 8:15 MB time.
Don't forget we are also on the air with the Bomber home opener from the Whitney Forum tomorrow at 7:15, drop of the puck at 7:30.