West Bend kicked off their 2017/2018 campaign at home against the rival Fond du Lac Bears. The two teams split the season series last season at two games a piece. Six Bombers made their debut against Fond du Lac; including Devin Stuermer, Joe Mason, Riley Morse, Dan Boyoung, Erik Haver, and Jake Hebda.
Fond du Lac jumped out to an early lead tacking on two goals in the first minute and nine seconds of the game. Tom Glomski and Mitch Grebe scored two early goals for the Bears. Tanner Tryggestad would answer back for the Bombers at the 11:16 mark of the first period. With just 32 seconds remaining in the period, new addition Devin Stuermer, evened up the score. Devin was a prolific scorer in NCAA III in his years at Concordia and Marian. He scored 105 points in 104 games in his four seasons.
West Bend added on two more goals in the second period to take a 4-2 lead. Dan Sheehan and Dan Shilts were the goal scorers for the Bombers. Ian McInch and Gary Kalata scored for Fond du Lac later in the period to even up the score heading into the third.
West Bend opened the period with a very fluky goal. A loose puck was nudged in by a Fond du Lac defender by accident with traffic in front of the net. Newcomer Riley Morse was credited with the goal. Fond du Lac answered back one minute later with Gary Kalata’s second goal of the night. Russell Johnson came through for West Bend making it a 6-5 game with 13:10 left to play. 45 seconds later Fond du Lac tied it once again on Gary Kalata’s third goal of the night. Bomber blueliner Marshall Klitzke boosted West Bend back into the lead halfway through the period. Klitzke would score again two minutes later on a powerplay goal. West Bend then locked down the Bears, only allowing four shots in the third period. The Bombers cruised to an 8-6 victory to open their season.
The final shots on goal were 36-30 in favor of West Bend. Jake Hebda made his Bomber debut in net, he stopped 24 of 30 shots to earn his first career victory. Randy Willis stopped 28 of 36 shots for Fond du Lac. The Bombers are back in action tomorrow at the Kettle Moraine Ice Center to face the Marquette Mutineers at 7:30!