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Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League

Keys To Teams Turnaround

By Flin Flon Bombers, 12/17/15, 1:30PM CST

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The team is in the midst of a 5 game winning streak, but they have been playing successful hockey for a couple months since their slow start.

The Flin Flon Bombers have come a long way since the beginning of the season.  After starting the season a dismal 3-5-0-2 Flin Flon (16-12-0-4) has been red hot as of late, making a push up the standings.

The team has been 11-3-0-1 since November 4th and many reasons have come into factor for the success of the team.

First off, the team has started to get the secondary scoring many believed they wouldn’t in the beginning.  It’s no secret that the line of Alex Smith (Edmonton, AB), Joel Kocur (Edson, AB) and Brandon Switzer (Brandon, MB) was going to lead the team in scoring.  The trio has a combined 120 points so far this season.

But as in the case in last night’s victory over the La Ronge Ice Wolves, they had to rely on the rest of the team as they were held off the score sheet.

The team went out and acquired forwards Jason Lavallee (Thetford-Mines, PQ) and Rylee Zimmer (Russell, MB).  They have been contributing offensively since their acquisitions with Lavallee chipping in with 14 points (5g, 9a) in 13 games and Zimmer with 6 points (2g, 4a) in 5 games.

Second year forward Greyson Reitmeier has settled in as well.  The Nakusp, BC native has 15 points (7g, 8a) in 32 games so far but has had 9 (4g, 5a) of them in the month of November/December highlighted by a five game point streak.

The team is also healthy right now.  The team had some key players out for extended periods of time.

Defensemen Curtis Roach (Saskatoon, SK) Braden Lacoursiere (Unity, SK) and Brandon Masson (Oak Lake, MB) all were out with various injuries with Masson playing just his six game of the season against the Ice Wolves.  All three were looked to be key pieces on the blue line for the season.

Captain Tyson Empey (Swift Current, SK) was also out for a month with a shoulder injury as was second year forward Adam Wilson (Edmonton, AB) who missed most of October.

And finally, the team is getting the goaltending they needed.

After a slow start to the season, Zac Robidoux (Winnipeg, MB) has come into the goalie the team knew they were getting when they traded for him in the off season.

Robidoux, who helped the Portage Terriers win the RBC Cup last season, started the 2015-16 campaign 0-3-0-1 in September with a 3.71 goals against average and a save percentage of 0.878.  In fact, he didn’t win his first game as a Bomber until his six start of the season, a 2-1 victory over the Kindersley Klippers when he made 23 saves.

Now looked as one of the league’s best puck stoppers, Robidoux is 12-7-0-3 with a 2.52 goals against average (5th in the SJHL) and a save percentage of 0.927 (4th in the SJHL) to go along with 3 shutouts.

1997 born Brenden Newton (Medicine Hat, AB) has also put up some good numbers in a back up roll.  He’s 4-4-0-1 with a goals against average of 2.90 and a save percentage of 0.916.

The team is still in the bottom of the Sherwood Division but all four teams in the Sherwood is in the top six in the overall standings in the SJHL and is also only one point back of La Ronge and four back of Nipawin with a game in hand on both clubs.