(PHOTO CREDIT MARISA MASSO)
JRFlyers defenseman Matt Bloomer is heading to NCAA DIII Hockey. The 5’11 Rochester, New York native will be suiting up for Castleton University in Vermont next season. Bloomer didn’t start the season with the JRFlyers. He was part of the Northern Conferences New Hampshire Monarchs. Two years ago as part of their Elite team then moving up to the Premier team for the 2016-2017 season. Bloomer was on the move again in December but this time he was heading to West Chester, PA to join the JRFlyers. As soon as he got there he was put right in the middle of the action. Multiple injuries to the JRFlyers defensive unit had Bloomer in the starting lineup upon arrival. “I actually found out that I was going to be joining the JRFlyers after the Holiday Break right before the JRFlyers vs Monarchs game the day before break. The transition from the Monarchs to the JRFlyers was fairly smooth as I knew I was coming from one successful organization to go to another. The JRFlyers started out the year strong so I was excited to be joining a winning atmosphere where I could help the team be successful. Not really knowing anyone at first was something that I had never experienced before. Immediately I felt the veteran presence in the locker room, and all of the guys made me feel welcomed and comfortable in a new atmosphere. I am extremely thankful that the guys made the transition so simple.” There was one more chapter for Bloomer with the Monarchs. The JRFlyers and Monarchs met in the Eastern Hockey League Semi Finals where the JRFlyers swept the Monarchs (Who were the reigning Champs from the year before) to advance to the Finals. “Playing against my old team was something that I was certainly looking forward to once I got moved and I knew it wouldn’t happen until late in the playoffs. I had a very close relationship with most of the guys, and played with some of them the past two seasons. Although this was the one series that I was very excited about, I knew that we had to handle it just like any other series we played and in the end we moved on.” In the Finals the JRFlyers won the Championship over their division rival, the Little Flyers in overtime of Game 5. Bloomer is the 12th JRFlyer that has committed to play DIII Hockey next season.
It was certainly a great ride for Bloomer as he leaves junior hockey a Champion. But also reflects on what has helped him become a better player. “The biggest learning experience playing for the JRFlyers is that if everyone buys in and competes, in both games and practices, you will have success. The whole year we competed hard, never gave up, and out worked our opponents. This hard working mentality will transition to college and will lead to success.”
Castleton is the next step for Bloomer in his hockey journey. While attending he plans on getting his degree in Accounting, and already has goals set. “The biggest goal for me is to continue to be successful. We have all seen what hard work leads to, so working hard in the classroom and on the ice will lead to success in terms of education and on the ice as well where the goal is to win. With that being said, I also just want to take everything one day at a time and success will come.” Bloomer will be joining fellow defenseman Chris Butryn who committed to Castleton earlier in the season, and he talked about continuing hockey with a teammate. “Going to Castleton with Bootch (Butryn) will not only make the transition from juniors to college easier, but I think we will work well together on the ice. We had times when we played together this season and we complement each other very well. We know how each other play and if we have the chance to be partners I believe we can thrive together.”
Coach Domish is excited for Bloomer’s next challenge as he heads to DIII Hockey. “I knew he was a great skater and that is very important at this level. Matthew is a very hard worker who is very willing to learn and very coachable. He’s a great skater who has the capability to become a power play defenseman. He keeps everything simple and plays within himself; he takes very little risk and is very good defensively. He will be a very solid d-man at Castleton and should be able to be an everyday player. It will be fun knowing that he and Chris Butryn will get to play for another four years together. I think them being together will be great as they can talk to each other as they go through the ups and downs of this sport.”
Bloomer’s career at the junior level has come and gone but he wanted to thank those who have helped along the way and leave a final message to his teammates. “I would like to thank my family for always supporting me no matter where I am. All of my coaches, especially Coach Jerry Domish and Coach Jason Kilcoyne for giving me the opportunity this season and helping me become a better player. Thank you to everyone else that helped the team, our trainers, our announcer Joe Sindoni, and our equipment manager Chris Cowan. I also need to thank Coach Silengo at Castleton for giving me this opportunity. And last, but not least, all of my teammates, without them I would not be where I am today. To all of my teammates on the JRFlyers I would like to say thank you again, you guys really made this year a special one and one that we will never forget. Also, good luck to all of you as you move on with your careers whether it is in college or juniors.”
Congratulations Matt on a successful junior career. All of your hard work has paid off, thank you for your dedication to the JRFlyers. Even though your time here was short, your impact was huge for this organization. You leave as a Champion and we are grateful to have you as a member of the JRFlyers family.
By Joe Sindoni
Play By Play Announcer