Nate Hooper (Winnipeg, MB) had a great rookie season with the Flin Flon Bombers.
The 1998 born forward had a lot of responsibility put on him during the season, playing on the team’s top line with Greyson Reitmeier (Nakusp, BC) and Jason Lavallee (Thetford Mines, QC), and eating up veteran type minutes, and for that he was rewarded with a 29 point (8g, 21a) rookie campaign.
That was on full display again in Game 7 of the Bombers SJHL Semi Final matchup against the Nipawin Hawks last night, where Hooper scored the opening goal and added an empty netter to help the Bombers take the game and series 3-0.
He now has 6 points (5g, 1a) in 12 playoff games.
Hooper scored 4:20 into the first on a giveaway behind the Hawks net and fired a shot up in under the cross bar for the unassisted game winner.
Lavallee added his sixth of the post season early into the second period after firing off a one timer over the glove of Hawk’s starter Kristian Stead, shooting the puck that was banked off the backboards from defenseman Braden Lacoursiere (Unity, SK).
Hooper scored the empty netter with 1:04 left in the third.
Flin Flon found themselves down 3-1 in the series, but rattled off three straight wins for to punch their ticket for a return to the Canalta Cup Finals for a second straight year.
Another storyline for the turnaround is the play of goalie Brenden Newton (Medicine Hat, AB).
Newton came in relief in game four and has allowed only two goals in over 222 mintues of play, including making 36 saves on 36 shots last night for his first shutout of the playoffs.
Overall the second year goalie has a record of 3-1 with a goals against average of 1.14 and a save percentage of 0.965.
The Bombers will return to the Canalta Cup finals for the second straight year, this time taking on the Battlefords North Stars, no confirm schedule has been made.