Two former Flin Flon Bombers have helped the Michigan Technological University men’s hockey team succeed.
Both Alex Smith and Greyson Reitmeier are among the top six scorers for the NCAA Division I squad this season. In the past, the forwards have helped the Huskies win Western Collegiate Hockey Association titles.
“Having the opportunity to play at this level is awesome,” Reitmeier said. “When you are playing junior hockey, it’s everyone’s goal. Just being able to play with and against high-calibre players that make it to the next level and have successful careers has been exciting.”
As of Jan. 6, Smith was fourth on the Huskies in scoring. He had four goals and 12 points in 22 games.
“He sees the ice well,” Michigan Tech head coach Joe Shawhan said. “He has got good strength. Strong on the puck. He has got a great feel for what’s around him and makes strong plays based on that. Provides good offence. He has done a great job for us this year on the power play.”
On the team scoring stats, Reitmeier is two places behind Smith. The sixth-leading scorer on the Huskies has 11 points, with five goals in 22 games.
“Greyson has got a high intellect for the game,” Shawhan said. “He’s got a high compete level. He has got good skill... He certainly has pro potential. He’s a great team guy. He will wear a letter here one day.”
While Smith and Reitmeier have made big plays for the Houghton, Mich.-based Huskies, they relish team success. As a freshman, Reitmeier helped the team win a WCHA title last season. A third-year player, Smith has been part of two title teams.
“Winning championships back-to-back has probably been my most memorable part of my time at Michigan Tech,” Smith said. “The atmosphere is second to none. It resembles the atmosphere in Flin Flon in junior.”
Last season, Reitmeier had the game-winner in the WCHA championship game against Northern Michigan University.
“We were on the road, but we had so many fans. It was an incredible atmosphere,” Reitmeier said. “To get the win at the end of the day was unbelievable.”
Both Reitmeier and Smith are achieving on and off the ice in Michigan. Smith, a scientific and technical communication major, was named to the WCHA All-Academic Team last season. As a freshman, Reitmeier was not eligible, but, like Smith, the business finance major has also succeeded in the classroom. The duo had to balance hockey, academic, and other commitments.
“Time management is the biggest thing... time management, managing your classes, and communicating with your professors helps a lot,” Smith said.
Reitmeier and Smith both said that their time in Flin Flon helped them reach the NCAA Division I level. A Nakusp, B.C. product, Reitmeier played two full seasons in Flin Flon. He left the Bombers as the SJHL Player of the Year.
“The first thing I think about my time in Flin Flon was the coaching staff,” Reitmeier said. “Mike Reagan, Garry Childerhose and Chris Bortis helped me so much. They helped teach me different facets of the game and how I needed to play to be successful, the things I needed to do, and the areas I needed to strengthen and develop. I think they just helped develop me into a well-rounded player and got me ultimately to this level.”
Smith, who is from Edmonton, also played two seasons in Flin Flon and capped his junior career by earning the SJHL Player of the Year award.
“I have lots of fond memories of Flin Flon from my billet, Cheryll Clark, to the coaching staff helping to develop my hockey game,” Smith said. “Mike Reagan and Chilly did a great job of helping me develop my game both offensively and defensively and giving me the opportunity to play, which ultimately led to me being able to come to Michigan Tech.”