It should be a rockem sockem good time tonight at the Whitney Forum for Hockey Night In The North.
The red hot Flin Flon Bombers will host the Weyburn Red Wings for the final time this season still looking for their first win after 4 meetings. The Wings are also the only team to beat the Bombers in 2016 after holding them off 4-3 last Saturday, snapping Flin Flon's 8 game winning streak.
Not to make excuses, but the loss came at the end of a 4 game road trip and I suspect the Bombers might have been a little tired and should be a lot fresher tonight.
Flin Flon has been on one impressive role winning 15 out of their last 18 games and are 13-4-0-2 at home. Despite their great run, the Bombers continue to battle with Nipawin for second in the Sherwood and fourth overall. Flin Flon is one point up on the Hawks with 56 and both teams have played 44 games.
Weyburn is tops in the Viterra and their 63 points has them tied for second overall with Melfort. The Wings are on a long road trip themselves and will play their third game in four nights.
The trip didn't start well with a loss in Nipawin on Tuesday, but the Wings rebounded 3-1 in Laronge on Wednesday. Weyburn have the second best road record in the league at 15-7-1-1.
Expect the Wings to play a tough in your face aggressive style and they will do everything they can to not let the Bombers utilize their speed. Weyburn's 108 goals against is the best in the league.
A big thanks to Hudbay, The City Of Flin Flon, The Town Of Creighton and The Village Of Denare Beach for fitting the bill and allowing everyone in our communities to come to tonight's game for free.
We chatted with Mike Reagan the Head Coach and GM earlier in the week and he mentioned how great it was to play in front of 1600 fans last year and the team is hoping for 1800 tonight. The players really enjoyed it and are very excited to play in front of a energetic crowd.
There certainly is a lot of talk and with the way the Bombers have been playing, I for one would be disappointed if we didn't have 1800. I don't belive there is anything else going on in town tonight and what a great opportunity to bring your entire family and friends.
No broadcast tonight, but we are back at it tomorrow against the Laronge Ice Wolves, with the Murray GM Coach's Show at 7:15 and play by play at 7:30.
It has been quite the season for Alex Smith who has received a number of Player Of The Week Awards, Has been chosen A Player Of The Month and now leads the league in scoring with 69 points in 44 games.
Alex and the Flin Flon Bombers received some great news yesterday that Alex has accepted a scholorship to Michigan Tech for a full ride for the next 4 years to play under former Flin Flonner Mel Pearson JR.
I caught up to Alex today and we discussed everything from his trade from the AJHL to the great success that he and his team are having today and his thoughts on his scholorship and hockey future.
The Flin Flon Bombers are very pleased to announce that 1995 born forward Alex Smith (Edmonton, AB) has committed to the Michigan Tech Huskies Division I men's ice hockey team for the 2016-17 season.
“I’m really excited for this opportunity and am looking forward to playing for the Huskies,” said Smith before he added, “but my main focus right now is winning a championship for the Flin Flon Bombers.”
Smith, who was acquired by the Bombers in the summer of 2014 from the Bonnyville Pontiacs of the AJHL, made an immediate impact with the team in his first season, winning Player of the Week honors early in the 2014-15 season, and finished up with 47 points (19g, 28a) in 54 games with the maroon and white.
This season, the 6’0, 190 pounder has lead the offense on most nights for the Bombers, leading the league in points with 69 (25g, 44a) putting up 21 points (8g, 13a) in the month of January alone.
“We feel that his two way style, along with his skating will make Alex a very successful collegiate player,” said Head Coach and General Manager Mike Reagan adding that Smith, who centres the first power play unit, also kills penalties.
“He produces on the power play, kills penalties for us and is one of the best in the SJHL in faceoffs. He’s going to be successful at the next level. Plus he’s a great guy, we couldn’t be happier for him.”
Smith, along with his Brandon Switzer (Brandon, MB) and Joel Kocur (Edson, AB) lead the team on most nights, contributes his success to his linemates.
“We have great chemistry and I want to thank those guys for helping me out this season, the way we’ve played this year has helped me get to where I am. It’s only a matter of time before they get a scholarship too.”
The Michigan Tech Huskies play in the WCHA with the likes of Alaska, Minnesota State and Lake Superior, and currently sit in fourth in the division with a 10-6-2 record tied with Ferris State. They play their home games at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena in Houghton, MI.
The Flin Flon Bombers wrapped up their four game in five night journey Saturday night in Weyburn. A successful road trip to say the least that saw the Bombers win their first three games and showed off their patented offensive flair in doing so.
Weyburn let Flin Flon know why they are the top team in the Viterra division - being more physical than any other squad the Bombers faced on the road swing and featuring a very nimble defensive core.
Weyburn leads the SJHL in goals against by a healthy margin and a lot of that comes from the goaltending prowess of Jack Burgart whose athleticism and technical acuity makes him the cram of the crop in net. Two goals From the Red Wings’ Drake Glover lead the offense for the opposition as Weyburn raced out to a 4-1 lead.
Zac Robidoux came in relief of Brendan Newton who had played every minute of the away games until that point. Flin Flon got some life from an Alex Smith shorthanded breakaway goal and then Brandon Switzer notched a slap shot from the blue line with :55 left in the 3rd period to cut the lead to 4-3.
The Bombers just ran out of time however, but you can’t win them all. The Bombers had an impressive 8-0 win streak come to end. They showed a lot of character making it close in the final game of visit down south.
For myself this was my first timer broadcasting 4 games in Five nights and my first time going down that far in southern Saskatchewan, I joked with other broadcasters and coaches I met along the way that other than Rob Hart no man has ever broadcasted four games in five nights and lived- Chris Cuthbert did three in three , and fractured his pelvis in doing so.
Kudos go to the to the “Stadler and Waldorf” of the SJHL, Kenny Brough and Joe Dannis who got everybody around safe and sound on the Bomber bus. As well to the other SJHL announcers I met at the rinks providing that southern hospitality.
Bomber action returns to CFAR Saturday night vs La Ronge and keep listening for all the hype leading up to Hockey Night in the North this Friday at the Whitney Forum vs those same Weyburn Red Wings
The Bombers after a much needed day off will hit beautiful Affinity Place tonight for a meeting with the Estevan Bruins.
Flin Flon come in flying high with a 7 game winning streak and winners of 14 of their last 15 games including a 4-0 shutout over Notre Dame on Wednesday .
Brenden Newton who is the reigning SJHL goalie of the week is on a real roll, as he has won 5 straight including a pair of shutouts and is becoming a big story.
Zac Robidoux went down with an injury against Melfort on January the 8th and Newton has seized the opportunity and never complained about sitting on the bench for good chunks of the season.
That just go's to show you, that if you continue to work hard and put the team first you will get an opportunity at some point.
Alex Smith continues to score at will and now has a share of the SJHL scoring lead with the Mustangs Travis Mayan who both have 66 points. Smith could be the first Bomber to win the scoring race since Reid McCloud in the mid 2000's.
This will be the fourth and final meeting of the year against the Bruins, with Flin Flon taking the first 3 including a 5-2 win in Estevan October the 30th. The Bombers took both games at the Whitney Forum 3-2 and 8-3.
The Bombers are not only trying to hold off Nipawin for second in the Sherwood, but also have their sights on the Mustangs who all of a sudden are only 5 points ahead of Flin Flon. The Bombers also have a game in hand.
Estevan who really struggled before Christmas have found their groove and are 6-2-0-2 in their last10 and are 10 points behind Weyburn for first in the Vittera Division. This is always special when these former WCHL rivals get together and this game is extra important with both these clubs battling for fourth overall.
Flin Flon have 54 points and Estevan have 47.
You can catch all the action once again on 102.9 CFAR and flinflononline.com including the Murray GM Coach's Show at 7:15 and play by play at 7:30. Raphael Saray has the call.
The Bombers won a thriller in Nipawin last night, to kick off their road trip on a positive note and collect their 6th win in a row.
The Hawks scored early, just 1:57 in when d-man Riemer got a point shot past Newton to put the Hawks up early 1-0.
Flin Flon responded in the second period on goals from Alex Smith and Joseph Leonidas, to put the Bombers up 2-1 after 2.
Nipawin tied it early in the third when veteran Hawk forward Fournier was able to beat Newton. The Bombers quickly responded when the electrifying Alex Smith pocketed his 23rd of the year when he busted in alone to beat Hawk netminder Kristian Stead low stick side.
It looked like the Bombers might hang on in regulation, but Nipawin continued to battle and tied the game at 3 with only 38 seconds left in the game.
OT settled nothing, so the 2 teams had to settle it in the shootout. Jason Lavallee was the only player to score in the shootout, when he made a sweet deek to beat Stead and give the Bombers their 24th win of the season.
Mike Reagan was on last night's CFAR Post Game Report and mentioned to Raphael Saray that he wasn't surprised that Lavallee scored as he feels he has the sweetest hands on the team. Reagan also commented that he was impressed with how his team was able to respond to Nipawin tieing the game at 2, and then rallying to win after the Hawks tied it late in the third.
Flin Flon will take over sole possession of both second place in the Sherwood and fourth overall with 52 points. The Bombers are only 7 points behind the Melfort Mustangs for first in the division and the Bombers have 2 games in hand.
They will make up one of those games tonight when the Bombers hit Wilcox to battle Notre Dame. The Hounds have been very good lately and look like they have turned the corner going 6-3-0-1 in their last 10. Notre Dame have won both meetings against Flin Flon this year and are one of two teams the Bombers have not beaten.
The Bombers are not only undefeated in 2016 but have reeled off 13 wins in their last 14 games and seem to be just as good on the road as they are at home, with 11 of the team's 24 wins coming away from the Whitney Forum.
Alex Smith continues to chase down Travis Mayan for the overall SJHL scoring lead, and is only 3 points behind with 63 points in 41 games. Switzer and Kocur are also in the overall top 10.
Don't forget to listen in to tonight's game from the Duncan McNeil Arena in Wilcox for the Murray GM Coach's Show at 7:45 and play by play at 8. Raphael Saray will look after the play by play.
There seems to be no stopping the Flin Flon Bombers, who picked up 2 more wins this past weekend at the expense of the Laronge Ice Wolves.
Flin Flon rolled into Laronge Friday and picked up their 10th road win of the season 4-1.
Lesko, Empey, Reitmeier and Kocur did the damage offensively and 18 year old Brenden Newton stopped 28 shots to pick up the victory.
I thought the Bombers pretty much dominated from the beginning of the game, with the exception of a 5 minute spurt by the Ice Wolves early in the third period.
I was really impressed by the Bomber speed, and again all 4 lines generated a lot of chances and nice to see more secondary scoring.
The next night the Bombers jumped out to a 1-0 lead 4:40 into the opening period when Grayson Reitmeier pocketed his 10th of the season, which stood up as the game winner.
Other goal scorers included Switzer(26), Lavallee(6), Kocur(27) and Switzer (27). Brenden Newton was impressive betwen the pipes again stopping all 32 shots for his first career SJHL shutout, as the Bombers blanked the Wolves 5-0.
Bomber captain Tyson Empey got a standing ovation when he took on Laronge tough guy Nakeho Lamothe, when the 2 decided to drop the gloves early in the third period. After Empey got the decisive victory Laronge had nothing left in the tank.
After the weekend the Bombers are: 23-13-0-4, and they have caught the Nipawin Hawks for not only second in the Sherwood Division, but fourth overall. This is extremely important because that would mean they would get home ice advantage to start the playoffs.
Mike Reagan and numerous players have told me that the long stretch to Estevan and Notre Dame the past couple of seasons, really took it's toll on the team.
Flin Flon remain the hottest team in the SJHL, and are 9-1 in their last 10. They will get a stiff test as they prepare for the toughest road trip of the season , 4 games in 5 nights starting Tuesday in Nipawin.
Other stops include Notre Dame, Estevan and Weyburn, 3 other teams that are playing very well.
The Bombers are still looking for their first win of the season against the Hounds and Wings, but have owned the Bruins beating them 3 times.
You can catch all 4 games this week with Raphael Saray including the big Sherwood tilt in Nipawin Tuesday including the Murray GM Coach's Show at 7:15, and play by play at 7:30.
The Flin Flon Bombers who have yet to lose a game in 2016, are off to Laronge Friday to kick off a home and home series with the Ice Wolves.
Flin Flon has scored 18 goals in 2016 and swept a pair from the Melfort Mustangs last weekend including a 6-3 in Melfort Saturday.
Laronge have 1 win in their last 3 and dropped a 5-1 decision to Battleford Wednesday.
The January 10th deadline has come and gone and the Bombers only made a couple of minor deals. They traded a pair of 97 forwards Josh Hayward and Issac Tkachuk to Kindersley for a first round 2017 draft pick and a player development fee.
Laronge made a couple of deals sending defenseman Logan Jackson to Virden of the MJHL for future considerations. The Ice Wolves landed another player including 98 forward Zac Gladu from Kindersley for the list rights to Chase Daniels.
Both these teams were busy prior to January the 10th, and Mike Reagan made his biggest moves in December picking up Lavalle, Zimmer and Morin who have all stepped into the lineup admirably and have helped provide the secondary offense the team so desperately needed at the time.
This will be the third meeting of the season, with the 2 teams splitting a pair of games in Laronge earler this year.
Laronge took the first meeting 6-3 on November the 24th, and the Bombers took the second meeting 2-1 December the 16th. The Ice Wolves will hit Flin Flon for the first time this Saturday.
The Bombers remain the hottest team in the league and are 9-1 in their last 10, while Laronge is 3-6-0-1 in their last 10.
The Ice Wolves do not score alot but their 110 goals against is the third best in the league and if Kris Joyce stays hot they are going to give a lot of teams trouble. He was sensational in both meetings against the Bombers, as the Ice Wolves were handilly outshot.
Flin Flon has been on a horrid streak since November and are enjoying success because they are filling the back of the net. There 141 goals for is fourth in the league and they are pretty good defensively too surrendering 116 goals in 38 games.
Congratulations to Brandon Switzer on being named the SJHL Player Of The Week for his 11 points in the last 3 games including 2 goals and an assist in the win over Melfort Saturday.
We will have both games on 102.9 CFAR and flinflononline.com starting with the Murray GM Coach's Show from Laronge starting at 6:45 and play by play at 7 on Friday.
Be listening for an interview with Bomber Office Manager Leanna Campbell in the second intermission as we discuss some activities that will be taking place this weekend in Flin Flon's bid for Kraft Hockeyville.
The Flin Flon Bombers continue to play great hockey and racked up 2 more wins on the weekend at the expense of the Melfort Mustangs.
Friday at the Whitney Forum, the Bombers used a strong first period to hold off a late Melfort rally 6-5.
Flin Flon scored 4 goals and led 4-2 after 1.Alex Smith led the way with his 19th and 20th of the year. St.Onge and Lacoursiere also scored, with the Mustang goals coming from Frei and Sinclair.
The Bombers got the only goal in the second when Switzer got goal 23. Melfort got going in the third and came within 34 seconds of tieing it up. The Mustangs had a strong last couple of minutes and were buzzing all over the Bomber zone.
Mustang goals came from Boutin, Hanson and Frei. The lone Bomber goal in the third came from Kocur, who scored his 25th on the PP which did stand up as the game winner.
The venue would change for Saturday, with the 2 teams tangling at the Northern Lights Palace in Melfort.
Flin Flon would have another good first period, taking a 1-0 lead into the locker room, when Switzer was given credit for the opening goal. Looked like Leonidas scored to me, but the score keeper disagreed and Switzer was given credit for the goal.
Switzer would score again to put the Bombers up 2-0 early in the second, before Warkentine would respond to get the Mustangs on the board. Shumlanski would restrore the 2 goal lead when he re-directed a nice shot through the legs of Richard Palmer. Palmer would then get the hook for backup Evan Plotnick.
The switch seemed to work for Trevor Blevins, as the Mustangs got fired up and got a late goal in the second with Sobkowics burying a shot in tight on Brenden Newton.
Melfort would tie the game early in the third when Sinclair scored his 10th of the year at 3:35. The Bombers seemed to be in the drivers seat all night and shook that off and went back to work.
This was a great night for the fourth line who were in on 2 of the next 3 goals. Lesko would score the game winner at 13:32 with insurance goals coming from Shumlanski and Smith into the empty net, as the Bombers would take their third straight 6-3.
The Fourth line broke out for 3 of the 6 goals and Mike Reagan awarded them with lots of ice time, including some late powerplay time. Shumlanski just missed his hat-trick when he fired a shot off the post.
The Bombers have won 10 out of their last 11 games, and are now just 4 points behind Nipawin for second in the Sherwood and fourth overall.
Flin Flon continues to play well against the 2 top teams as they have points in 4 of the 5 meetings with Melfort including 3 wins. The Bombers have also beaten the front running Battleford North Stars 4 times.
No-one else in the league can say that , not to mention the Bombers are now 6-3-2 against their own division.
The Bombers have scored 18 goals in their last 3 games and now have 141 on the season which has them ranked fourth in the league, and is certainly one of the reasons they have been one of the top clubs the last couple of months.
Another factor has been how tight their locker room is. Both Mike Reagan and Gary Childerhose have told me how everyone is on the same page playing for their team mates, and you can also see how much fun these guys are having coming to the rink.
Flin Flon will now prepare for the Laronge Ice Wolves and a home and home starting this weekend in Laronge Friday and back in Flin Flon Saturday. The season setries is tied at a win apiece, with both meetings in Laronge.
You can get both games on 102.9 CFAR and flinflononline.com starting with Friday's game at the Mel Hegland Uniplex.
Congratulations to the Pee Wee Eddies Family Foods A Bombers who finished second at a tournament in Thompson this past weekend.
The Bombers finished first after the round robin with a record of 2 wins and a tie and played Thompson in the final and lost 9-4, taking home a Silver medal.
The Norman Wild went 1-2 on the road this past weekend losing to Central Plains 3-0, and 4-0 to the Winnipeg Avros. Shanna Moore of Thompson had a strong game making 46 saves. The Wild were able to rebound with a 5-3 over Eastman Sunday, despite trailing 3-1 after 2.
Fresh off a 6-5 shootout win over Yorkton on Tuesday, the Flin Flon Bombers will take on the Melfort Mustangs in a home and home series this weekend.
The defending league champs made quite the splash earlier this week picking up Hanson and Bear from Melville for 17 year old defenseman Curran Reeve and futures, which is believed to be 2 players for next season.
Melfort already has a deep squad up front and have sent a message to the rest of the SJHL clubs, that taking away their league championship is not going to come easy.
The Mustangs are second in goals for with 144, and have only 1 regulation loss at home this season and are very stingy only giving up 101 goals this year, which is third behind Laronge and Weyburn.
Melfort continue to lead the Sherwood Division with a remarkable 26-7-3-1 record, and are second overall with 56 points. They trail Battleford by a point with 2 games in hand .
Flin Flon has Nipawin in their sights , they are 6 points behind them for second in the Sherwood with 2 games in hand.
The January 10th deadline is fast approaching for Sunday, and this weekend should be a good measuring stick for what Mike Reagan decides to do the rest of the way.
It appears he will most likely have to move outside the league, with all of Melville's 20's being moved including Predinchuk being dealt to Estevan yesterday. Humboldt has also sent hometown product Jarret Fontaine to Weyburn taking him off of a lot of SJHL team wish lists.
I don't think Reagan has to panic as his team has been one of the hottest and most fun to watch the last couple of months, and are winners of 13 out of their last 16 games.
The trio of Smith, Switzer and Kocur have combined for 146 points and all 3 are in the league top 10 in scoring, and it should be fun to see them go head to head with the Mustang trio of Mayan, Frei and Boyer.
The Bombers have played the mustangs well, and have held them to 3 goals in the 2 meetings in Melfort, which may be one of the reasons that Trevor Blevins decided to make this trade with Melville.
Keep in mind that Flin Flon had a lot of injuries in those games, and for the first time since early October, the Bombers have been able to ice their top team with Empey, Lacoursiere and Masson all back from lengthy injuries.
This should be a great weekend of hockey with Bomber fans getting a chance to check out the new Mustangs club tonight, before the return affair in Melfort tomorrow, broadcast on 102.9 CFAR and flinflononline.com.
Congratulations to Bomber defenseman Cory Thomas on being selected to play in the CJHL Top Prospects Game January the 26th in Surrey BC. Thomas has suited up for 22 games for the Bombers this year picking up 1 goal and 3 assists.
Thomas is the only player from the SJHL chosen to play in this game and is the first Bomber picked since Brett Boehm in 2013.
The Flin Flon Bombers took over right where they left off after 2015 with a hard fought 6-5 shoot out win over Yorkton to open up 2016 last night at the Whitney Forum.
The line of Kocur, Switzer and Smith combined for 12 points and continue to carry the club offensively and all 3 sit in the top ten in league scoring.
Switzer had a goal and 4 assists, Kocur had a pair of goals and a pair of assists and Smith had a goal and 2 assists. Tyson Empey had the other goal for Flin Flon.
Kocur had the winning goal in the shootout and now has 24 on the season to take over the team lead.
Evans, Sookro,Sherban,Stevely and Welke scored for Yorkton.
The story for the Terriers was their goaltender Jacob Severson who stopped 60 out of 65 Bomber shots,22 in the second period alone. The majority of the shots were in tight including a short handed break away from Alex Smith.
I chatted with Trent Cassan, the Yorkton head coach after the game and he said Severson has been really good lately and was impressed with his effort last night, noting it could of easily been 7-1 for the Bombers after the second period.
Flin Flon will improve to 19-13-0-4 and are now 5 points up on Laronge for third in the Sherwood after Nipawin buried the Ice Wolves 8-1 last night. The Bombers remain 6 points behind the Hawks for second in the Sherwood with 2 games in hand.
The Bombers are 8-2 in their last 10 and have won 13 of their last 16 games as they prepare for the defending league champs, the Melfort Mustangs in a home and home this weekend. The Mustangs will be here on Friday, with the Bombers off to Melfort Saturday.
102.9 CFAR will have the broadcast of Saturday's game, our first of 2016.
Flin Flon has played the Mustangs well, taking points in all 3 games and were less than 30 seconds from shutting them out in their last meeting in Melfort November the 5th. This should be a good measuring stick for the Bombers who could be looking to add January the 10th.
Head Coach and GM Mike Reagan says they would like to add a couple of players for the stretch drive, if the asking price is right. With it being pretty tight across the league, most GM'S I have talked to expect it to be pretty quiet, which means most teams will likely have to make a deal outside the league. It will be interesting and no doubt Bomber fans will be watching the SJHL website very closely.
Congratulations to both the Bomber's Brandon Switzer and Zac Robidoux who both got rewarded for their fine play as being chosen player's of the month for December.
Switzer was the player of the Month for his 15 points in 8 games in December, and Robidoux was chosen goalie of the month for going 5-1 with a 1.68 -gaa and .948 SPCT to go along with a pair of shutouts.
Don't forget to join us for play by play coverage of the second half of the home and home with Melfort this Saturday including the Murray GM Coach's Show at 7:15 and play by play at 7:30 from the Northern Lights Palace.
Flin Flon Minor Hockey gets set for their first tournament of 2016.
The Jason Morran Memorial Tournament will start this Friday at both the Whitney Forum and Sportex with teams competing from Flin Flon, The Pas, OCN, Thompson, Swan River, Norway House and Gillam. There will be both an AA and A Division.
Here is the complete schedule
Friday January 8, 2016
11:30 AA Flin Flon Bombers The Pas Huskies Whitney Forum
12:45 A Flin Flon Bombers OCN Blues Creighton Sportex
12:45 AA Thompson King Miners Swan River Stampeders Whitney Forum
2:30 A Swan River Stampeders The Pas Huskies Creighton Sportex
2:30 AA The Pas Huskies Norway House North Stars Whitney Forum
4:15 A Gilliam Chargers Thompson King Miners Creighton Sportex
4:15 AA Flin Flon Bombers Thompson King Miners Whitney Forum
6:00 AA Norway House North Stars Swan River Stampeders Creighton Sportex
Saturday January 9, 2016
10:15 A Flin Flon Bombers Thompson King Miners Whitney Forum
10:15 AA Thompson King Miners Norway House North Stars Creighton Sportex
12:00 A Gilliam Chargers The Pas Huskies Whitney Forum
12:00 AA Swan River Stampeders The Pas Huskies Creighton Sportex
1:45 AA Flin Flon Bombers Norway House North Stars Whitney Forum
1:45 A Swan River Stampeders Thompson King Miners Creighton Sportex
3:30 A OCN Blues Gilliam Chargers Whitney Forum
3:30 AA The Pas Huskies Thompson King Miners Creighton Sportex
5:15 AA Flin Flon Bombers Swan River Stampeders Whitney Forum
5:15 A Flin Flon Bombers The Pas Huskies Creighton Sportex
7:00 A Swan River Stampeders OCN Blues Whitney Forum