After winning against Soo Thursday, the Bombers will once more face new competition Saturday at the Centennial Cup - this time, it's the CCHL’s Ottawa Jr. Senators.
The Jr. Sens breezed through their league playoffs with a 12-1 record, sweeping both their first round series and the league final. Heading into the tournament, the Senators were ranked fourth in the CJHL Top 20 Rankings at the end of the regular season - two spots ahead of Soo, who the Bombers beat Thursday.
Ottawa opened up their Centennial Cup run Friday afternoon against the MJHL champion Dauphin Kings. Despite outshooting Dauphin, the Kings beat Ottawa 2-1.
The Sens scored more goals in the regular season than any other CCHL team, gave up fewer than all but one team and put up 11 more points than every other team in the CCHL. The Sens have won three straight Bogart Cups as CCHL champs.
The Senators saw much of their offence run through a big four of Philippe Jacques, Julian Racine, Simon Isabelle and Thomas Freel, who each cleared 60 points on the season - no other Sens player cleared 40 points in the regular season. In their game against Dauphin Friday, Jacques scored the team's only goal - Isabelle and defender Bodie Nobes got the assists.
The team relies more on its defence and goaltending to get wins - Ottawa gave up only 21 goals in 13 playoff games and starting goalie William Desmarais, formerly of the MJHL's Selkirk Steelers, ended the playoffs with a .943 save percentage.
Three of the Senators have NCAA Division I commitments next season, with a fourth coming in the future - and all four will encounter Bomber players when they get there. Jacques and Isabelle will be going to the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) next year with the Tigers, along with Bomber defender Xavier Lapointe. Another pair of Sens, Freel and Nobes, will join another Bomber, Donavan Houle-Villeneuve, at Maine with the Black Bears - Freel next season and Nobes in 2023.
The game will be played at 4 p.m Saskatchewan time (5 p.m. Manitoba time) May 21, with the game streamable on Hockey Canada's website.
|TALE OF THE TAPE|
|FLIN FLON BOMBERS||Team||OTTAWA JR. SENATORS|
|SJHL runners-up||How they got here||CCHL champions|
|34-21-2-1||Regular season record||43-8-2-2|
|11 W - 5 L – 2 OTL||Playoff record||12 W – 1 L|
|1 W (6-1 over Soo)||Previous tourney results||1 L (2-1 against Dauphin)|
|Xavier Lapointe (58-19-31-50)||Leading scorers (regular season)||Philippe Jacques (52-31-45-76)|
|Zak Smith (50-20-28-48)||2||Julian Recine (53-25-47-72)|
|Jaxon Martens (58-19-27-46)||3||Simon Isabelle (51-22-45-67)|
|Drew Kuzma (56-19-25-44)||4||Thomas Freel (51-35-26-61)|
|Jaeden Mercier (39-18-26-44)||5||Anthony Provost (51-12-22-34)|
|Kuzma (18-9-8-17)||Leading scorers (playoff)||Recine (13-7-12-19)|
|Smith (18-9-8-17)||2||Isabelle (13-10-7-17)|
|Mercier (17-7-7-14)||3||Jacques (13-5-9-14)|
|Gabriel Shipper (17-4-10-14)||4||Bodie Nobes (13-3-11-14)|
|Jacob Vockler (18-6-6-12)||5||Freel (10-3-7-10)|
|Cal Schell (41 GP, 2.39 GAA, .923 SV%, 25-12-1-1)||Starting goalie||William Desmarais (37 GP, 2.05 GAA, .927 SV%, 27-5)|
|Mike Reagan||Head coach||Kyle Makaric|
|3.55||Goals per game||4.1|
|2.72||Goals against per game||2.4|
|Two (Lapointe, Jeremi Tremblay)||NCAA Division I committed players||Four (Freel, Isabelle, Jacques, Nobes)|
|Three (Cory King, Smith, Rylan Thiessen)||Major junior players||Two (Desmarais, Colin McKenzie)|
|not ranked||CJHL Top 20 ranking (year-end)||4th|