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In Our Words: Get loud

"The Bombers will head into Games 3 and 4 at home Tuesday and Wednesday night. The team is down in the series - and as a result, could use as much help as Flin Flonners can provide."
S13 Bombers 6
Ethan Anstey shouts for joy in the midst of the pile following an overtime winner against the Battlefords North Stars.

The Bombers will head into Games 3 and 4 at home Tuesday and Wednesday night. The team is down in the series - and as a result, could use as much help as Flin Flonners can provide.

This town needs something good, something to be proud of, something to cheer for. This is as good a chance as any to get that.

Whenever I talk about the Bombers and the Whitney Forum these days, I always refer to the past, the present and the future. They all have similarities, but they all mean very different things with further context added.

Looking at the recent past, the odds aren’t exactly in the Bombers’ favour. The odds of winning a best-of-seven playoff series don’t point towards teams that lose their first two games - clubs that win the first two games of a seven-game series usually have about a four-in-five chance of winning it eventually.

Oh, ye of little faith.

That’s exactly the same predicament the Bombers found themselves in during the first round - down 2-0 to Battlefords, Flin Flon responded with a pair of massive home wins to tie the series and send it back to the Stars’ home ice. All the Bombers would do from there is take over Game 5 in enemy territory, win Game 6 on home ice and knock off the higher seed with four straight wins.

Yes, the odds weren’t in the Bombers' favour. The odds didn’t need to be. The Bombers still won.

Estevan may have a deep roster and the advantage of home ice for most of this series. They may have beat the Bombers three times out of four during the regular season. Those numbers don’t tell the whole story, though. All four of those season games were decided either in the third period or in overtime. One loss was due to an unfortunate flub with a breakout pass - another was because of a late Bruins goal, taking over the game with only moments to go. This series is more even than most people would think.

Of course, there are factors playing in the Bombers’ favour - namely, they’ll get two nights of home cookin’ and loud home crowds. Oh how do I love thee, Whitney Forum? Let me count the ways.

The loudest rink in junior A hockey will need to be in prime, loud effect if the Bombers are to continue their shot at their first league championship in almost 30 years. There will need to be chants. There will need to be volume. There will need to be an impact from the stands and the railings.

I don’t possess the ability to predict the future - if I could, you can bet I’d have found a way to bank on that by now. Sure would make writing opinion pieces and news articles easier, that’s for sure.

What I do know is that when it’s jumping, when it’s at its loudest and most full, the Whitney Forum is a whole other beast. It is a loud place. It is a boisterous place. For opposing teams, it is a scary place. It is a wall of sound and fury, with chants, horns, music and sheer, overwhelming noise. It’s something to behold and something that, while I’ve been going to games there for the vast majority of my life, I still have a hard time explaining - it’s something that transcends whatever words you can attach to it.

We all know that this, like everything else in Flin Flon, could change quite a lot in the not-to-distant future. We know that. We don’t like to mention it because it, quite frankly, can kill the mood. We don’t want to think of our town’s main industry casting us aside or uprooting dozens of families just to pump up a quarterly profit margin. It’s a frightening idea. It’s pending danger, doom and gloom.

I don’t have to tell you what the plan is - we all know it by now. It’s already starting for some people - some families are moving away, putting their homes up for sale, looking for work or a place to live elsewhere.

We dwell often on the history for the Bombers - and hoo boy, is there a lot of it - but that history will only go so far during a modern playoff series. Opposing players may not look at the retired numbers over their heads and be intimidated - they may very well look up and think, “Wait… who’s Ted Hampson?”

Those nine decades, in a sport with such a short memory as junior hockey, may not be a game-breaker. I’d love to be proven wrong there, but I have my doubts.

The past is illustrious, but it is the past - it’s a great story, but no longer truly in effect. The future is bleak and uncertain. All that remains is the present and all that can be done in the present is to support, to cheer, to build the wall of noise, to hopefully shout home a title and have one last big freakin’ party before it all goes down.

In order to push the Bombers over the line, Flin Flon must live for the present.

Bring the noise. Shout like you mean it. Show the town and the players that you have their backs.