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Bombers unveil season opening roster, bring back 12 returnees from last season

With the start of the regular season right around the corner, the Flin Flon Bombers now have an opening night roster.
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Brent Gulenchyn celebrates a goal during a Bomber preseason game at the Whitney Forum.

Exhibition games and preseason is over for the Flin Flon Bombers. The team now has an opening night roster.

According to the SJHL's website, where the roster was posted late Tuesday night, the Bombers' roster has 18 forwards, eight defenders and three goalies as of press time. Twelve of those players are returnees from last year's club that made the SJHL finals, losing to Estevan in seven games.

The Bombers made three trades last week, first bringing in goalie Harmon Laser-Hume officially from the Nipawin Hawks for a player development fee. Laser-Hume played 23 games for a struggling Hawks squad last year, going 4-13-3 in those games and ending the season with a 3.65 goals-against-average and a .887 save percentage.

The team also moved forward Matthew Langdon’s junior rights to the OCN Blizzard and the rights to defender Andrey Manov to the Swan Valley Stampeders, moving both for player development fees. Both players were announced as recruits to the club this offseason

Ethan Farrow, Kenneth Marquart and Laser-Hume made the cut in net, with Connor Stojan being bumped from the crease with the acquisition of Laser-Hume.

Farrow, originally from Bonnyville, Alta., played last season in the Alberta AAA U18 ranks, putting up a 6-12-2 record, 3.48 goals-against-average, .897 save percentage and two shutouts in 22 games with the Sherwood Park Kings. Marquart, the youngest of the three goalies, played for the Osoyoos Coyotes of BC's KIJHL junior B league, ending the year 16-1-1 with a 2.72 goals-against-average and .904 save percentage. The Regina native, who has four seasons of junior eligibility remaining, also had a cup of coffee with the BCHL's Penticton Vees last year.

Defenders Lorenzo Bono, Aiden Chow, Lucas Fry, Dryden Jeannot, Cory King, Cheechoo Lathlin, Reece Richmond and Cole Tanchuk have all made the cut for opening night. Liam Foley was the last defender cut or moved by the Bombers. Fry, King, Richmond and Tanchuk are all returnees from last season.

All eight returning forwards have made it back - Ethan Anstey, Cole Duperreault, Matt Egan, Jaeden Mercier, Kylynn Olafson, Jordan Pfoh and Jeremi Tremblay. Out of the returnees, Martens scored the most points last season, putting up 46 points and 19 goals in 58 games - both Mercier and Tremblay scored at a higher pace, with Mercier clearing 44 points in 39 games and Tremblay having 35 points in 37 games, but both spent considerable time out with injuries.

They will be joined by rookies Liam Bridger, Lucas Byrne, Greg Diamond, Brent Gulenchyn, Mason Hartley, Dawson Karol, Carter McLeod and Alexi Sylvestre. Also included are ex-WHLer Kaden Kohle and Joey Lies, who has returned to the Bombers and to his hometown following a sojourn to Swift Current Bronco camp. Liam Cochrane got the unlucky last snip from the preseason team.

The team includes three northern Manitoban players - both Lies and Pfoh are Flin Flon players, while Lathlin hails from Opaskwayak Cree Nation.

More players will be cut or moved as the year wears on, including at least one 2002-born player. The roster currently has nine 2002-born players, but the Bombers can only play eight maximum in games.

The Bombers will suit up for their season- and home-opener Sept. 16 at the Whitney Forum against the Melfort Mustangs, then will play Nipawin on the road the next night.

Two players who will not join the Bombers this year are the Vockler brothers. The South Dakota natives - Jacob and younger brother Zach, an offseason recruit - have found their way onto the NAHL’s Aberdeen Wings, based about a three-hour drive from their family home in Sioux Falls.

Jacob put up 38 points in 52 games as a Bomber last season, while Zach was drafted by the Wings in the sixth round of the league’s draft back in June.