Two of the hottest teams in the SJHL will clash tonight when the Flin Flon Bombers (10-10-0-4) travel to La Ronge to take on the Ice Wolves (13-10-1-1) at the Hel Hegland Arena (Game Time: 7:00 PM – Radio: 102.9 CFAR).
Flin Flon are on a four game winning streak after sweeping the SJHL leading Battleford North Stars in a pair of games on the weekend to get the team back to .500 for the first time this season.
The team is finally getting secondary scoring, not having to rely solely on the trio of Alex Smith (Edmonton, AB), Joel Kocur (Edson, AB) and Brandon Switzer (Brandon, MB), which was evident on Friday night against the Stars.
Aside from Kocur’s 13th of the season in the second, Flin Flon got goals from Grayson Reitmeier (Nakusp, BC), Josh Hayward (Edmonton, AB), Mason Etter (Cedarburg, WI) and Jason Lavallee (Thetford-Mines, QC) in the 5-4 OT win.
Lavallee has 7 points (3g, 4a) in 5 games since being acquired from the Penticton Vees.
On Saturday the trio picked up the scoring with Switzer picking up a pair and Smith and Kocur each scoring a goal in a 5-2 win. Lavallee scored the other goal and picked up an assist.
“In the beginning if those guys (Smith, Kocur, Switzer) didn’t score we didn’t win,” commented Head Coach and General Manager Mike Reagan. “Now Friday night proved that if they don’t, we can still win. It’s nice that the other guys are contributing and our secondary scoring is picking up.”
Another reason for the turnaround is the play of 1996 born goalie Zac Robidoux (Winnipeg, MB). Robidoux had lots of hype when he was acquired by the Bombers in the off season.
Since opening up with four straight losses, the former RBC Cup Champion has five wins in November and staggering numbers of a goals against average of 1.90 and a save percentage of 0.945. His lone loss this season was a shootout loss against the Melfort Mustangs. On the season he is 8-5-0-3 with a 2.69 goals against average and a save percentage of 0.920.
Robidoux made 44 saves on Friday night in the overtime win and another 41 the next night.
“Goalies sometimes take a bit to adjust and are sometimes slow starters,” added Reagan. “Zac has been steady back there for us this month and has really helped turn this team around.”
Flin Flon is four points back of the red hot Ice Wolves who are on a six game winning streak and have points in 11 straight games.
Although the success can be attributed to scoring, scoring an average of 4 goals in their 11 game streak, their goaltending is a big reason for the success.
Kris Joyce might be the only one with numbers better than Robidoux in November where the 20 year old is 5-0-0-1 with a goals against average of 1.48 and a save percentage of 0.960.
This is the first meeting of the season between these two rivals.