We’re on the eve of the 2015-16 SJHL regular season, and Head Coach and General Manager Mike Reagan is happy were his team is to start.
“I think that we really played well in the pre season, and I think that it’s been some tough choices but that’s a good thing going into the regular season,” commented Reagan as he begins his ninth season with the club.
Six months after a disappointing early end to their season, Reagan and the remaining players from that team, who finished fourth overall in the league, are looking to get things going as they open up a home and home series against the Nipawin Hawks (Friday 8:30 pm, Centennial Arena, Saturday 7:30 pm, Whitney Forum).
Flin Flon went 4-1 in the pre season.
The team has a whole line coming back, as 1996 born forwards Alex Smith (Edmonton, AB), Joel Kocur (Edson, AB) and Brandon Switzer (Brandon, MB) will be looked to lead the team offensively. The trio combined for 107 points (41g, 66a) last season. Behind them is an SJHL vet of four seasons and a pair of rookies with new anointed captain Tyson Empey (Swift Current, SK) returning for his fourth and final season being matched up with rookies Nick Shumlanski (Tisdale, SK) and Brandon Lesko (Hafford, SK).
Also returning upfront is 1995 born Michael Knaub (Morden, MB), 1996 born Kristian St. Onge (Saskatoon, SK) and Jason Cohan (North Vancouver, BC). The team also picked up a pair of big forwards in 6’3 Adam Wilson (Edmonton, AB), who they acquired from the Bonyville Pontiacs of the AJHL, and 6’3 Greyson Reitmeier (Nakusp, BC), who they just recently picked up from the Melville Millionaires in the Brett Kitt deal.
Where the team Reagan thinks is the strongest is their backend. The team has five players returning with at least one season of Junior A hockey under their belts. The blueline looks to be lead by the pairing of 1997 born Curtis Roach (Saskatoon, SK) and 1995 born Joel Webb (Edmonton, AB) who was picked up from the Kindersley Klippers as part of the Austin Calladine trade.
After that it’s a trio of 1996 born d-men in Mason Etter (Cedarburg, WI), Braden Lacoursiere (Unity, SK) and Brandon Masson (Oak Lake, MB) and highly touted 1998 born Cory Thomas (St. Brieux, SK) to make up the blueline.
The team will start the season with three goalies lead by the RBC Cup winning Zac Robidoux (Winnipeg, MB) picked up from the Portage Terriers and returning 1996 born Connor Slipp (Calgary, AB). Also starting the season with the club is 1997 born Brendan Newton (Mediciine Hat, AB).
After the home and home the team will be in Melfort on Wedneday to take on the Mustangs before a Friday night showdown with the Humboldt Broncos.