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Seeking redemption

by Laurence Heinen / Calgary Flames
Lance Bouma has March 6 marked on his calendar.

Bouma’s Vancouver Giants will host the Calgary Hitmen at the Pacific Coliseum that evening and will be looking for redemption.

“They come back to our barn, so it’ll be another great game,” said Bouma, who recorded an assist during a 6-3 loss to the Hitmen at the Pengrowth Saddledome on Jan. 16. “I’m sure it’ll be two good teams going at it, so it’ll be a lot of fun and a good challenge. We’ll remember (the loss) for sure and we’ll try to come back and play hard.”

After scoring 12 goals and 23 assists in 71 games for the Giants last season, Bouma was chosen in the third round (78th overall) of the 2008 National Hockey League Entry Draft by the Calgary Flames.

It’s a good bet that Flames management and scouts were among a large crowd of 14,244 patrons at the Saddledome in January to watch Bouma’s Giants take on the Hitmen in a battle of the Western Hockey League’s top two teams.

“It was exciting to come back to Calgary and play in front of them,” said Bouma, a native of Provost, Alta. “I’m sure there were quite a few people watching from the Flames organization so it was good. It wasn’t the outcome that we wanted but it was good to come back here. It was exciting to play here again.”
Bouma took part in the Flames prospects development camp in the summer and returned for rookie camp prior to the season. He then suited up for a pair of games as the Calgary Flames first beat the Edmonton Oilers 1-0 and then doubled the Vancouver Canucks 6-3 during the Oil Country Rookie Tournament in Camrose Sept. 14-15.

The 6-foot, 194-pound forward even hit the scoresheet against the Canucks when he tipped in a T.J. Brodie point shot.

“It was really cool to play for the Flames and put the Flame jersey on,” said Brodie, who was subsequently sent back to Vancouver for his 18-year-old season with the Giants. “It was a good time. It was good to meet all the guys and get to know everyone in the organization.”

In 47 games so far this season with Vancouver, Bouma has scored nine times to go with 14 assists and 112 penalty minutes for the 41-4-0-3 Giants.

“Lance is a hard-working player,” said veteran Vancouver coach Don Hay. “He’s an honest player. He plays physical, he plays the body. He goes to the net hard. When he’s finishing his checks, he’s really effective.”

Bouma described himself as a power forward who likes “get his nose dirty and be physical” while also taking pucks to the net.

“That’s the type of game I like to play and I enjoy it,” Bouma said. “I’m just going to try and be more consistent and keep playing hard every night and try to get a bit better offensively.”

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