Sioux Lookout Bombers look forward to season debut
Tim Brody - Editor
The Sioux Lookout Bombers are looking forward to making their Superior International Junior Hockey League (SIJHL) debut in less than a month.
The team held its rookie and training camp Sept. 2 to 7 at the Sioux Lookout Memorial Arena, attracting 45 players, a mix of young hopefuls aiming to make the team and signed veterans looking to hold onto their spot on the roster.
Bombers Head Coach Carson Johnstone said, “I think it went well. We saw, I think, what we needed to see, for the most part. We signed a couple new guys… actually we signed two new goalies, one, Odin Church a 19-year-old, and two, Jake Manners, a 20-year-old.” He added, “As far as I’m concerned, we had some tough decisions to make… another guy Braden Clarke, he’s a right winger from Brandon, Manitoba. We were happy to add him to the squad.”
The team’s roster sits at 22 players with three spaces still available to be filled. Johnstone said he’s happy for the flexibility that gives him to make changes, or additions to the roster as the season plays out.
Overall, he said he’s happy with the roster, but added there’s still room for improvement.
During the camp, players were put through their paces to assess their skills and how they might work together as a team.
A highlight of the training camp was an all-star game where the players were split into two teams, Team Black and Team Smoke. Team Smoke went on to win the game 3-2 in front of a crowd of 200 people eager to get a look at the team as it comes together.
Players also took part in a scavenger hunt around town during the training camp to get to know the community better.
Bombers Director of Hockey Operations Austen Hoey said, “Carson’s done a real good job of bringing in the right players. He’s obviously led the charge, but we’ve had a lot of guys help as well. It’s been really solid, just in general. I think we’re where we want to be at right now… We’re happy with the 22 players we have on our roster. But realistically, you’re always looking to improve.”
Hoey added, “There’s a lot of raw talent within our roster right now and we’re excited for Carson to begin to cultivate that.”
The billet situation for the team, which had been a cause for concern recently, has been resolved with each player on the roster finding a home.
The team is always on the lookout for additional billet families and people can contact Nicole Carnochan or Ashley Cassidy at [email protected].
The Bombers have been getting out in the community lately, with Bombers players at Fresh Market Foods on Sept. 10 helping to bag groceries. Bombers players will regularly be helping customers bag their purchases at the store until September 24.
Johnstone and the Bombers’ goalies also took some time on September 5 to help out Sioux Lookout Minor Hockey League players with a goalie clinic.
“Just look for the Bombers out in the community,” Hoey said, adding, “We say ‘Our Town. Our Team.’ We really do mean that. We want to make sure our guys are members of Sioux Lookout and so far, I think they’ve done a really good job of that.”
Bombers season passes are now on sale and can be purchased at https://bombersmerch.square.site/.
The Bombers will make their franchise and season debut on Oct. 1 at The Hangar (Sioux Lookout Memorial Arena) against the visiting Wisconsin Lumberjacks and Hoey said it’s going to be quite the evening.
“It will be an event for sure… Tickets went on sale today (Aug. 8), so If you’re even thinking about it, there’s only a limited number of tickets that we can sell, so I would consider getting those as quickly as possible because the first game’s going to be a spectacle for sure,” he said.