The Long Beach Bombers started to heat up, leading into the Holiday break. The squad took to the road, to face-off against the Phoenix Knights in a three game series last weekend. After leaving a point on the table Friday night, in an overtime loss, the Bombers won the next two. Bombers’ point-leader, Nikita Korotkov, had 1G-6A in the series. The two wins were both earned by Bombers rookie netminder, Brian Parsons, his first & second career victories. Defenseman George Chisholm had a coming-out party of sorts, as he tallied 1G-5A over the weekend, including 2PPA. Veteran Stephen White got back to his scoring ways, with a 2G-5A series. Forward Tyler Balaguy scored his first goal as a Bomber. Co-Captain Johnny Linehan played two games, and reminded everyone how much of a difference-maker he is, when in the lineup (2G-4A). Last, but certainly not least, was veteran forward Eric Laporte. With two game-winning goals (one in OT), he had a breakout weekend, 5G-2A.
Three days later, the team traveled to Las Vegas for the annual Western States Hockey League’s Las Vegas Showcase. The boys played four games in four days, and managed to win three of them. Long Beach defeated the New Mexico Renegades, Dallas Snipers, and Wichita Jr Thunder. Their only loss was at the hands of the Salt Lake City Moose. Russian forward Alexander Fibig showed how dangerous he is offensively, when healthy. He had 2G-4A, including a final-game hat trick against the Jr Thunder. He created scoring chances all week, and was rewarded on the scoresheet in the final contest. Stephen White led the Bombers attack, with 4G-5A, also notching a hat trick against the Jr Thunder. Swedish forward Mans Nystrand put up a 2G-6A week, in front of his family, who was in town from Stockholm. Nikita Korotkov battled through injury to add 5G-3A, and was the third member of the team to earn a hat trick against the Jr Thunder. Rounding out the top line, Eric Laporte chipped-in 2G-4A. Thankfully, it appeared the Bombers found some secondary scoring, as Johnny Linehan 1G-6A centered a line with Fibig and White in the final game, in which they combined for 6 goals. Jiri Sykora won both of his starts, and got some much-needed rest. Drake Koegel was tabbed for his first start of the season, on Friday, against the Dallas Snipers. Koegel settled down after two early goals, and earned himself and the team a 4-3 win. Veteran forward Tyler Forest scored the game-winner with 5 seconds left in regulation. The team battled through a bevy or injuries, and closed the gap in their push for a playoff spot. Notables: Pat Acosta scored his first goal of the season, David Shaby continued to acclimate to his new position (defense) and fired a slapshot top-shelf on Saturday through an Acosta screen, super-rookie Ryan Orgel made the trip and played a very solid four games, AJ Martinez filled-up the scoresheet with 1G-4A (scoring a point in each game), and rookie defenseman Ryan Piscotty served-up his first two career assists.
After the Holiday break, the Bombers will host the 19-3 Fresno Monsters; always a tough matchup. The series will start Fri Jan 4 (7:40p), continue Sat Jan 5 (7:30p), and conclude Sun Jan 6 (12:30p). The Bombers will welcome the time off, as they hope to get healthy before the second half of the season.
Good news for Long Beach, will be the return of co-captain forward Johnny Linehan (9GP: 5G-6A) for Saturday and Sunday. Last season, Linehan had a 1G-6A weekend in the Bombers’ only series against the Knights. Also set to return, is Russian forward Alexander Fibig (6GP: 2G-3A). The other co-captain, Guy Laporte, will be back after a one-game hiatus, due to injury, and forward Alex Bancroft will return to the lineup after a one-game suspension.
Thanks to the addition of Linehan, Fibig, and Bancroft, veteran Stephen White will move back to defense, where he will play more minutes, and be counted on to stabilize the reeling Bombers back-end. The Bombers will need to shore up their defensive zone, if they are going to earn the points they are desiring in the next seven games before the holiday break.
Weekend Schedule: Fri Dec 14 – 8:00pm MST at Polar Ice Gilbert, Sat Dec 15 – 6:50pm MST at Polar Ice Chandler, and Sun Dec 16 – 11:30am MST at Polar Ice Chandler.
All games can be viewed LIVE on: www.fasthockey.com
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.
Watch LIVE at 7:40pm PST on Fast Hockey: www.fasthockey.com
Preview/Stats/Standings/Rosters: Game Day Program
The Long Beach Bombers will face-off with the WSHL first-year Seattle Totems of the Northwest Division. Both teams look to climb out of their respective division cellars with a three game series, starting Friday at 7:40p. The Bombers are coming off a six-game stretch where they faced the formerly-undefeated Dallas Ice Jets (Bombers stole game one of the series) and the undefeated Fresno Monsters.
The line of Mans Nystrand, Nikita Korotkov, and Stephen White celebrate one of their 12 goals in the last 7 games since they began playing together. The Bombers have been led recently by the play of center Mans Nystrand (Stockholm, Sweden), who has six goals in his last six games. The squad has been hit hard by the injury bug during the passed few weeks. New faces include two young defensemen – Ryan Piscotty and Sean Buffardi, and forward Tyler Balaguy.
The Seattle Totems are led by #24 forward Petr Novak (12G-6A), #8 defenseman Connor Haney (11G-6A), and goaltender Bryce Fink (6W-2.95GAA-.931S%).
The WSHL released its annual Las Vegas Showcase schedule this week. The Bombers will take on inter-division opponents: New Mexico Renegades, Salt Lake City Moose, Dallas Snipers, and Wichita Jr Thunder.
WSHL Showcase schedule: 2012 WSHL Showcase Schedule
Games can be viewed live at: www.fasthockey.com
Unfortunately, the Bombers were severely bitten by the injury bug over the weekend. Captain Johnny Linehan was unavailable to play, veteran forward Eric Laporte was suspended for two of the games, and that was just the beginning. Defensemen Kurtis Petersen (broken arm) and Pavel Ratskevich (torn ACL/MCL) were both lost long-term. In addition, forward Chance Rapp (dislocated shoulder) will be out 6-8 weeks. JT Banard and Alexander Fibig were also knicked-up over the weekend. This forced the Bombers to quickly sign three players and slot them into the lineup. Defensemen Ryan Piscotty (LA Jr Kings) and Brandon Herlihy were added, as well as forward David Edholm.
Goaltender Jiri Sykora finished the weekend 1-1, and made a whopping 106 saves in his two starts. Sykora made his fair share of highlight saves, and kept the Bombers in both games, giving them the ability to win one. Newcomer Alexander Fibig finished the weekend with 2G-2A, while the line of Nikita Korotkov, Mans Nystrand, and Stephen White combined for 8G-9A in the series. It was a coming-out party for Nystrand, who had registered just one goal in the first nine games, despite playing an excellent all-around game, and creating numerous chances.
Upcoming for the Bombers will be a bus trip up to face the undefeated Fresno Monsters. It is a very unenviable stretch for the Bombers, having to play two undefeated WSHL clubs back-to-back. Nonetheless, the Bombers proved they are capable of beating the very best in the league, and they will use this opportunity to their advantage as the season moves forward. This should be a fun weekend for the team, as it marks their first “road-trip” of the season.
The Monsters are led by captain Nick McKee who finished with 61pts last season, and is off to a quick start with 26pts in 12GP. Defenseman Cory Sikich has registered 16pts in 13GP. Fresno is always a strong club, and they will pose a welcomed challenge for the Bombers.
Weekend schedule: 4p Fri, 4p Sat, and 10:30a Sun (all games to be played at Gateway Ice Center)
All games can be viewed live on: www.fasthockey.com
The Long Beach Bombers head into this weekend on a tough losing streak. However, coming off a bye week, they are anxious to get back on home ice. The Bombers will play their first non-divisional game of the season at 7:40p Friday. With just nine games played, Long Beach is tied for the least amount of games this season. The team started the season on a tear (4-1), but have since lost four straight.
The squad will be missing captain Johnny Linehan (6GP-5G/5A) due to his academic commitments, and forward Eric Laporte (9GP-3G/6A) for two games to suspension. Forward David Shaby is also doubtful with an injury. Therefore, the offense will look to the line of Stephen White, Nikita Korotkov, & Mans Nystrand. Newcomer Alexander Fibig, will be counted on to add some spark to the offense. Forwards JT Banard, Tyler Forest, Alex Bancroft, and Kyle Orgel will also likely log heavy minutes during the Bombers’ first three game weekend.
In net, the Bombers will again lean on Jiri Sykora to carry the load. Rookie netminder Brian Parsons will get his first career start over the weekend. He has a very calm demeanor, and is technically sound. He will be looking to make his case for more minutes as the young season goes forward.
On Sunday, the Bombers will welcome the Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings for the 12:30p game. Their in-game experience will take over the Garden and provide an amazingly unique game environment and atmosphere.
Sunday LA Kings Day With The Long Beach Bombers: Los Angeles Kings Event
Weekend Preview: GameDay Program
All games (7:40p FRI, 7:40p SAT, 12:30p SUN) can be viewed LIVE online at: www.fasthockey.com
Sunday, November 18 the Long Beach Bombers will welcome the Los Angeles Kings Game Production/Entertainment Crew. The Bombers will host the undefeated Dallas Ice Jets on Friday and Saturday nights (7:40p) and Sunday at 12:30p. Join the Bomb Squad early on Sunday, as the LA Kings will kick-off the action at 11a with games, autographs from Kings alumni, and giveaways.
CLICK HERE FOR THE OFFICIAL FLYER:
Bombers vs Ice Jets 1118
Last time these two clubs met, the Bombers were able to squeak-out a 3-2 home victory in Lakewood. Jiri Sykora made 39 saves on the night. Forward Nikita Korotkov tallied two goals to power the Long Beach offensive effort. The San Diego Gulls sit in third place in the tight Pacific Division early standings race with a 5-5 record. The Bombers are two points back, with 8, maintaining a 4-2 record. With four games-in-hand on the Gulls, the Bomb Squad will look to pull even with them in the points race, on Friday. The Gulls are 0-4 at home, while posting a stellar 5-1 road record. Their only loss came at the hands of the Bombers, back on September 29.
Long Beach lost their last game 5-3 in Valencia, and looks to get on a roll in the next three division games before hosting a strong Dallas Ice Jets team. After starting the season 0-5, the Gulls are rolling now, having won their last five games. This could be directly related to the production of veteran forward #7, Justin Lazalde. Lazalde has 11 points during the win streak, and has been held off the scoresheet just once. Goaltender, Reed Kinsey, is coming off a shut-out of the Bay Area Seals, and played strong in his last outing at Glacial Garden Skating Arena.
For the home team, they will look to Korotkov to kick-start the offense. He has three goals & three assists in his last three games, including a hat-trick in Valencia. Defenseman Stephen White scored a power play goal in his last contest, and will look to increase his offensive production. White is currently three points back of the WSHL Defensive Scoring Leader, having played three less games. He is also ahead of his scoring pace from last season (44GP: 22G, 24A), which led all Western States Hockey League Defensemen.
Watch the game LIVE on FastHockey: http://www2.fasthockey.com/login.php
Click for preview: Game Day Program
The Long Beach Bombers will get some much needed rest this weekend, as they do not have a game until Friday October 26, at home, against the San Diego Gulls. The bumps and bruises that accumulate over a 46-game schedule will have a few extra days to heal. Goaltender Jiri Sykora has played 354 of the 360 minutes, thus far.
In roster-related news, the Bombers are proud to announce the addition of forward Alexander Fibig (Moscow, Russia) to their squad. Fibig is a lanky right-handed winger with good hands that has a knack for finding the back of the net, in tight.
Also, the Western States Hockey League annual Las Vegas Showcase information is now available. Book your rooms at our host hotel, Stratosphere, at a fantastic rate. All games will be played at the Las Vegas Ice Center. The Bombers will play four games between December 19-22. The Showcase begins on December 18, and the hotel reservation deadline is December 7.