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Bombers hit the ice

The Reminder is making its archives back to 2003 available on our website. Please note that, due to technical limitations, archive articles are presented without the usual formatting.

The Reminder is making its archives back to 2003 available on our website. Please note that, due to technical limitations, archive articles are presented without the usual formatting.

Flin Flon Bomber main camp opened Friday with over 50 hopefuls competing for a spot on the opening day roster. After fitness testing and a practice on Friday night, players were divided into three teams for games on Saturday. While players seemed to lack intensity to start the day on Saturday, it was clear that by the end of the day, most players were serious about sticking around for the intersquad game on Sunday. Thirty-six skaters remained on Sunday, along with four goaltenders, and everyone on the ice stepped it up a notch when the puck dropped at 2 p.m. for the intersquad game. Team Maroon edged Team White by a score of 5-3, with an empty net goal. John Iron, Derek Reid, Conrad Wilgenbusch, Brian Hritzuk and Donald Milburn scored for Maroon, while Matt Jones, Quinn McIntosh and Simon McCusker replied for White. The intensity level of Sunday's game was a vast improvement from the lackluster efforts Saturday. "With all of the jobs being open, the veterans may have had a big eye-opener (Sunday)," said assistant coach Dustin Ernest. "They've got to step it up. Quinn McIntosh opened up a lot of eyes this weekend. He's good with the puck. Kevin Burwell is a big kid, and strong. Jordan Pidskalny has a lot of speed. Our young guys are all battling, and that makes things a lot more competitive." Coach Ryan Hoffman was also a lot happier after Sunday's game. "I think as a whole, things got better as the weekend went on," said Hoffman. "(Sunday) was the most intense game, and the vets showed a little bit better than they did in the first couple of days. I was happy with how it ended." Hoffman was also impressed with forwards Pidskalny and McIntosh. On the back end Dillan Hubbick and Kurt Matthewson stood out as players that will be able to help the team down the line. "Those are guys that probably won't be in the fold for another year, but they had really good weekends as well." Newcomer Kyle Schroeder, who was obtained from the Dryden Ice Dogs in exchange for Reed Tetrault, will be a welcome addition to the Bomber lineup, and is sure to be a fan favourite with his skill and speed with the removal of the red line this season. Local product Curtis McCombie was also entertaining to watch. The Flin Flon native played Junior 'B' with OCN last season, and isn't afraid to mix it up with anyone. In goal Troy Ciernia played really well, and displayed that he will be able to fit into the SJHL. Young Josh Milburn was also exciting to watch, and veterans Paul Reimer and Brett Koscielny will make sure that the choice in net will not be an easy one. Many local players did not dress for Sunday's intersquad game. See 'Midget' P.# Con't from P.# Due to a CHA ruling that does not allow inter branch transfers until a player's 18th birthday, Flin Flon players who played Midget 'AAA' in Thompson last year cannot play for the Bombers. This includes exhibition games. The Bombers tried to have that ruling reversed for the exhibition season, but their request was denied. "It's so unfair for the kids," said Ernest. "They want to play at the highest level they can, and that rule is holding them back. Every other team in every other league can do it but us." The Bombers will play two rookie games, one last night in La Ronge (results unavailable at press time) and the other tonight in The Pas against the OCN Blizzard. Coach Hoffman expects to keep most of the remaining 38 players around for those two games. The Bombers will insert more veterans into the lineup for Wednesday's home game against the Blizzard, and then drop down to 27 or 28 players for the tournament in Saskatoon.