Through the first 28 games of the 2021-22 SJHL season the Bombers find themselves sitting in 3rd place overall with a record of 19-8-0-1. The team sits 5 points behind the Humboldt Broncos (2 games in hand) and 7 points behind the 1st place, Estevan Bruins (1 game in hand). The Bombers have a 6 point lead over the Melfort Mustangs for the Sherwood Division lead.
The Whitney Forum has been a tough place for opposing teams to play as the Bombers have posted a 13-2-0-1 record on home ice. Meanwhile on the road the Bombers are .500 with a 6-6 record. The Bombers 110 goals for has them ranked 3rd among all SJHL clubs and the team’s 76 goals against is the 4th lowest.
The Bombers power play seems to be dynamite every season and this year has been no different. Despite struggling as of late, the Bombers 22.4% has them ranked 4th. The penalty kill has been one of the biggest disappointments this season as the team is currently 7th with a 79.3%.
The play of goaltender Cal Schell has been critical to the Bombers success. Schell’s statistics (wins, shutouts, GAA & SV%) are all in the top 3 among SJHL goaltenders. Schell has appeared in 21 of the teams 28 games so far this season.
The Bombers currently have 3 players inside the top 10 for SJHL defencemen scoring. RIT commit, Xavier Lapointe leads the way posting 24 points (9g, 15a). Cole Vardy sits 3rd with 18 points (7g, 11) and Reece Richmond is tied for 6th with 15 points (2g, 13a). The Bombers d-core has combined for 78 points which is a league high.
Forwards Zak Smith, Jaxon Martens and Cole Duperreault are the only Bombers in the top 20 for SJHL scoring. Smith and Martens are tied for the team lead with 27 points each. Meanwhile, Duperreault has posted 25 points so far this season. Forwards Jeremi Tremblay and Jacob Vockler have been able to step in and produce as rookies. Tremblay’s 25 points (12g, 13) is 7th among SJHL rookies. Despite missing 6 games, Vocklers 18 points (7g, 11a) is 12th. Vockler is currently on a 10 game point streak.
Mike Reagan has made some key acquisitions to help improve the team throughout the lineup. Goaltender Max Hildebrand (04) was assigned to the Bombers from the WHL’s Prince Albert Raiders. In 7 games, Hildebrand has 4 wins and has a 3.45 GAA & .881 SV%. On the backend the Bombers landed Xavier Lapointe (02) at the conclusion of the pre-season. WHL veteran’s Cory King (02) and Rylan Thiessen (01) were assigned to the Bombers from the Seattle Thunderbirds and Swift Current Broncos. King currently has 6 assists in 16 games while Thiessen has 3 assists in 3 games. Reagan made 2 moves to improve the team’s forward group. Brett Wieschorster (01) was acquired from the AJHL’s Camrose Kodiaks in exchange for a Player Development Fee (PDF). Wieschorster has 18 points (3g, 15a) in 27 games and is arguably the teams best face-off artist and plays a crucial role on the team’s penalty kill. The other move up front was the addition of the team’s leading scorer Zak Smith (01) from the MJHL’s Neepawa Titans in exchange for a PDF.
The Bombers are 7-2-0-1 in the last 10 games. The team has 5 games remaining this month.
Friday, December 10th vs Weyburn Red Wings
Saturday, December 11th vs Weyburn Red Wings
Friday, December 17th @ La Ronge Ice Wolves
Saturday, December 18th vs La Ronge Ice Wolves
Friday, December 31st vs La Ronge Ice Wolves
(Photo Credit – Kelly Jacobson)