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A familiar face and a new one start new year with the Canadians

The goaltending roulette wheel continues with the Rayside-Balfour Canadians - but somehow, general manager Jeff Forsyth and company keep finding a way to come up with a winning spin.

The acquisition of Cameron Lamour by the North Bay Battalion last month marked the second time the local NOJHLers had lost a netminder to the major junior hockey ranks this year. For a second straight time, however, they have found a more than adequate replacement.

Sudbury Wolves' draft pick David Bowen makes his return to the Canadians, less than two months after leaving the team to sign with the Drummondville Voltigeurs of the QJHML.

The fact that the parties remained on great terms, throughout the process, and maintained communication allowed for a relatively easy reintegration of the former #1 puckstopper to the fold.

"Obviously, we were watching what was happening in Drummondville," Forsyth acknowledged. "David played well there and I thought possibly that he was going to stay. We were in the process of looking for another number one when he reached out to us."

It is clearly a bonus for the Rayside-Balfour contingent that they are dealing with a known quantity. "It's kind of a seamless transition, because the guys have played in front of David for the better part of the first three months of the season," said Forsyth.

"They already know David, they know his tendencies, they know the way that he plays in the crease. I don't see this changing the way that we play at all."

Though this is his first year as GM of the team, Forsyth has drawn on the lessons learned of his time spent as a scout with the Sudbury Wolves. "We're really lucky that we have the relationships that we have with the CHL (Canadian Hockey League) members," he said.

"We try and maintain contact with them, so that's we're still part of the process, even when our players move on."

Between the pipes was not the only area where the Canadians experienced a little change-over during the holidays. Just before Christmas, veteran defenceman Ethan Lavallee was traded to the Kitchener Dutchmen of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League.

Less than two weeks later, the team found a replacement in the form of 20 year-old blueliner Greg Arnburg. A native of Oshawa, Arnburg has suited up in the OJHL with both the Pickering Panthers and Lindsay Muskies, and also played 16 games with the Timmins Rock of the NOJHL last year.

Most recently, he started the 2019-2020 campaign with the Navan Grads of the CCHL, before making his way north. "He'll be a steady guy on the back end, giving us some veteran presence," said Forsyth.

"This really came about from conversations with a member team in our league. We had a need and they didn't. It was nice that it worked out that way."

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