It’s the beginning of the second season in Port Alberni Bombers history tonight, as they open the 2022-2023 Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League campaign by visiting the Generals at Oceanside Place in Parksville.
Expectations and hopes will no doubt be high for the Bombers and their fans.
After an inaugural expansion season saw them not only qualify for the post season in a thrilling run down the stretch, the Bomb Squad – as they became affectionately known, made believers of the naysayers and had a serious Cinderella feel to them as they stunned many and inspired their fanbase as they pushed the VIJHL Regular Season champion Campbell River Storm – who lost just six games all season – to the brink of elimination in a best of seven series that went the distance.
The clock would unfortunately strike midnight for the Bombers, as their season ended with a 3-1 Game Seven loss to in Campbell River.
All of the above if of course in the past, as the Bombers look to an improvement into this new season.
The roster will be a mix of both familiar, and new with players moving on and new recruits coming in. Back up front are Aidan See, Carson and Robbie Steel, Brett MacLean, Mason Cannon, Grayson Erickson, Gavin Mastrodonato and Justin Osborne.
Returnees on Defence are Easton Sandberg, Captain Evan Vasarhely, Jackson Payeur and Cam Maher. Sam Davidson – who played last year as a Forward, has moved to the back end.
New up front is Kai Verbrugge, while Tanner Burt and Solstice Tennant join the Defence.
Between the pipes are newcomers Felix Plendl, Lukas Toth and Owen Bonthuis, as they replace Callum Tung – who ascended to the Alberni Valley Bulldogs and Keelan Hondro, who graduated.
The Bombers face a stiff test tonight in the defending VIJHL North Division champion Generals, who saw their season end in overtime of game six of the VIJHL final to the Peninsula Panthers.
Game time is 7:15
Watch on HockeyTV: https://www.hockeytv.com/