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.
Hockey fans in Flin Flon will put memories of the past two seasons behind them as the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League regular season kicks off tonight. The Bombers officially open the season tonight in La Ronge against the Ice Wolves, and fans will flock to the Whitney Forum on Saturday as the teams will complete the home-and-home opening weekend. Local products Curtis McCombie and Eric Knutson are both excited about fulfilling the dream of every Flin Flon kid and donning the Bursting 'B'. "I'm looking forward to getting some experience under my belt," said Knutson. "I haven't played in the league before. I just want to see what I can do and help the team. Playing for the Bombers is what I've been playing for my whole life." "It's every kid's dream come true, growing up here," said McCombie. "I think we're going the do good this weekend. Things have been coming together perfectly the last couple of days in practice. Everyone is ready to go." Unfortunately, not everyone will be able to play on Friday. Donald Milburn and Jeff LaPointe are both listed as day to day, but could be ready for Saturday. After working with the team for the last three weeks, Coach Ryan Hoffman is impressed with the progress of the squad. "It's a pretty good group of guys," he said. "They all get along off the ice, and work pretty well on the ice. Things get a little bit better every day. I'm pretty content with the group we have right now. Obviously if we get an opportunity to add some fire power up front or a big d-man, we would do that. Overall, with where we are sitting now, I am pretty happy." With six goals in preseason, Derek Blais has demonstrated his desire and ability to be a go-to guy this year. When Donald Milburn returns, you can expect some goals from him as well. Stewart Sjoberg and Craig Parks also lit the lamp, and will be counted on to contribute on a regular basis. With a season already under his belt, Tyler Stinton is another guy that can put the puck in the net, and young guys like Joey Moggach and Quinn McIntosh will be out to prove they can handle themselves at the Junior 'A' level. While the Bombers may not have a proven legitimate goal scorer, there are any number of players on the team that can put the puck in the net. The absence of LaPointe means that the Bombers will be shorthanded on the back end for the time being. Veteran defencemen Simon McCusker, Spencer Davis and Conrad Wilgenbusch will have to step up and fill the void, and Eric Knutson will see a lot of ice time early in the season. Pound for pound, the Bombers proved that they are going to be one of the tougher teams in the league. Kevin Burwell, Mark Black and Curtis McCombie will make sure that no one takes liberties on our team without paying the price. Fans will have a chance to meet the team before Saturday's game at the tailgate party from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Pregame activities will start with player introductions at 7:15, and the puck will drop at 7:30 p.m. Also at the game, the Bombers will honour longtime fans Gord Dadson and Donny Warren with a moment of silence. In other team news, the Bombers have traded Tyler Hennessey to the Waywayseecappo Wolverines of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League for future considerations.