It’s a bittersweet feeling for the RBC Financial Canadian Junior “A” Player-of-the-year.Mark Bomersback, a forward with the Canmore Eagles of the Alberta Junior Hockey League just watched the Camrose Kodiaks advance to the final game of the Royal Bank Cup. The same Kodiaks team who eliminated his team from contention in the 2003 playoffs.
“It’s tough watching, but at least I got down here to come and see it,” he said. “At least we can say we got beat by the best team (if Camrose wins).”
Bombersback believes the Kodiaks can go all the way.
“I think they really have a good shot, they’re a really well balanced team, you’ve got scoring, hitting and you definitely have the goaltending, so it looks good.”
The accolades Bombersback has compiled are quite impressive. The 5’10” forward was the 2002-03 AJHL most valuable player, leading scorer first team all-star and it’s all-time leading scorer after recording a record three straight 100-point seasons.
The 20-year-old has accepted a four-year scholarship to Ferris State University in Michigan to begin in the 2003-04 season.
Current NHLers Mike Comrie and Dany Heatley are former Junior “A” Player’s-of-the-year themselves, lending some optimism to Bombersback’s future in hockey.
“I think maybe it opens some doors for me, you look at what those guys have done after this, went on to great careers bow in the NHL, so we’ll see what happens and hopefully things keep going well,”
Donald Johnstone was also on hand to watch the game. Johnstone, of the Maritime Junior Hockey League’s Truro Bearcats was awarded the Royal Bank Cup national scholarship this season.
“It’s a national scholarship, a $5,000 award and it goes directly to the university, wherever I end up next year,” he said. “It’s a combination of athletics and academics as well as community involvement throughout your career, it’s a big honour to get it.”
Johnstone has already decided where he’d like to deposit his money.
“I’m hoping to go to Dalhousie next year in Halifax, I’m looking to study pharmacy. I had my interview last week and I’ll find out in June whether I get in or not.”
He has yet to decide whether or not he will try out for the Dalhousie Tigers should he get accepted.
“They’ve got a pretty good team over there, I’m not sure if I’m going to play or not they’re pretty stacked so we’ll see what happens,” he said.
Both players will be on hand to watch tomorrow’s final.
“It should be a good one, whoever is in it,” said Johnstone.