In a single-game weekend for the Bombers, they look to improve on their 2-1 record against the Flyers. All three games came within the first 2.5 weeks of the season. Since then, the teams have gone in opposite directions. The Flyers have earned 20 points, while the Bombers sit one spot below them, with 12 points. The Bomb Squad will look to build off of a 6-2 win over the Seattle Totems last Sunday; their only win on a three game weekend. The team is focused on building momentum in the final 8 games of the calendar year (4 of which are at the Western States Hockey League Showcase).
Long Beach will have to first handle their business at The Garden against a Flyers team that is on an 0-and-3 skid. Truth be told, those losses all came at the hands of a lethal Idaho Junior Steelheads team over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Valencia showed well, and earned a point on Saturday, losing in overtime. Forward Austin Erlich has 8 points in his last 5 games, despite being held off the scoresheet twice by the Steelheads. Russian forward Kevin Antipov scored a goal in each game against Idaho, and has 5 goals in his last 4 games.
Since November 16, the Bombers top line has been red hot. Since moving to center, Mans Nystrand has been on an absolute tear (8GP: 7G/8A). He is flanked by the team-leading scorer, Nikita Korotkov (9GP: 5G/9A), and the Bombers’ 2011-2012 leading scorer, Stephen White (9GP: 3G/6A). Behind the dangerous trio, the Bombers will look to Eric Laporte, who is coming off a playmaker effort in his last game, and newcomer Tyler Balaguy, who chipped in 2 assists in a strong opening weekend of play.
Congratulations goes out to George Chisholm, who scored his first Bombers goal on a power play deflection Sunday, Kyle Orgel, who scored a beautiful first career junior hockey goal as he slithered through the neutral zone to beat the defenders and eventually stuffed a deke home behind the Ice Jets goaltender, and Nikita Korotkov, who put up his second-career hat trick in a four-point effort on Sunday. This was a welcomed outburst for Korotkov and the club, as he was held scoreless in his previous six games. Despite the brief drought, Korotkov leads the team with 13 goals in 18 games.
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Preview/Stats/Standings/Rosters: Game Day Program