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Junior hockey: Flyers split series with Bombers

Valencia wins Friday but falls in rematch on Saturday

Posted: October 18, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: October 18, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Finally home four weeks into the season, the Valencia Flyers took on the Long Beach Bombers in a short two-game series over the weekend. At times, the Flyers looked great in front of the home crowd, and at other times, they left a lot to be desired. Head Coach Jocelyn Langlois expressed a need for a “killer instinct” among his players if they hope to ascend in the Western Division standings.

Friday: Playing his first game as a Flyer, Quebec native J.P. Bouchard scored the game’s opening goal 8:18 into regulation. With an assist on the play, Eddie Keshishian extended his points streak to seven games. Long Beach would fight back and tie the game just minutes later and take the lead while short-handed to begin the second period. In the third, the Flyers mounted a comeback and knotted the score at 2-2 on a shorthanded goal of their own by Keshishian with 9:08 remaining in the period. While on the power play late in the third period, defenseman Preston Nowak notched his first goal of the season to send the capacity crowd into a frenzy and the Flyers on to a 3-2 victory.

The next evening was a complete 180-degree turn from the previous game. Long Beach came out early and scored on its first two shots of the game against rookie goaltender Donny Snediker. The Flyers were able to mount a bit of a charge thanks to a goal by rookie defenseman Dillon Thomas, but Long Beach responded almost instantly. The Flyers cut the lead to one again on another goal by Bouchard, but it wasn’t enough, as the Bombers won 4-2 for their first victory of the season.

After coming to the Flyers during the first week of the season from the Helena Bighorns (AWHL), Thomas has come into his own in his rookie season of junior hockey. Thomas, a senior at Saugus High School, started off slowly but has seen increased ice time with his strong play. His work finally paid off on Saturday night, as the 17 year-old tallied a goal and an assist ... the Flyers are now 2-5-2 on the season and fifth in the WSHL Western Division ... they play the Phoenix Knights this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Ice Station Valencia.


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