It was not the way the La Ronge Ice Wolves wanted to start the season — dropping a 7-4 decision on home ice Friday to the Flin Flon Bombers.
“First of all, the effort was there from the guys — for a full 60 minutes here,” said Ice Wolves Head Coach and GM Evan Vossen. “To be where we were, especially killing off a seven-minute penalty in the second period, the guys stayed with it. A lot of guys were asked to kill (penalties) and then that also takes some guys out.”
Scoring goals plagued the Ice Wolves last season, but finding the back of the net four times on opening night is certainly a step in the right direction. Mitch Zambon, Kolby Johnson and Zach Bannister combined for 10 points. Zambon scored twice, while Bannister and Antonio Di Paolo added singles for La Ronge. Chad Duran finished with 33 saves in the loss.
La Ronge converted twice on the man advantage, while Flin Flon also tallied twice on the power play. The Ice Wolves had to kill off a seven-minute penalty, which was assessed to Justin Bill in the second after he tangled with Flin Flon’s Calvin Boots.
“We do have a good penalty kill, but when you’re playing more than half the game shorthanded — giving them power play after power play — with the team they have — that killed us tonight,” said Ice Wolves forward Kolby Johnson. “Our identity is that we never quit and we work hard — and we just have to keep doing that.”
Brandson Hein led the way for the Bombers, as he found the back of the net three times. Pierce Diamond made 27 saves for the win between the pipes.
The Ice Wolves and Bombers will meet on Saturday at the Whitney Forum. You can catch Saturday’s contest on MBC with Braden Malsbury. The pre-game show will begin at 6:15 p.m. Saskatchewan time.
Meanwhile, Kolby Johnson has been named captain of the Ice Wolves. Stephon Perreault, Ben Manson and Antonio Di Paolo will serve as alternates.
(PHOTO: The La Ronge Ice Wolves were introduced before the game. Photo by Braden Malsbury.)