Features | 2/15/2013 10:45:11 AM | Alex Beilman
| Mike Hominuck (Photo: Bill Wippert)|
To say Buffalo Bandits forward Mike Hominuck is an NLL journeyman would be understatement. Hominuck was most recently traded to the Bandits this past offseason as part of a deal that sent Kevin Buchanan to Philadelphia.
This will be Hominuck’s second stint with the Bandits. After playing 10 games over two seasons with Buffalo, Hominuck went on to be drafted by the Portland LumberJax in the 2006 expansion draft for parts of two seasons. In his first season with Portalnd, Hominuck broke out, registering 53 points (28 goals, 25 assists).
However, he was traded to the Minnesota Swarm halfway through the 2007 regular season, despite being on his way to another 50-plus point season. He would finish the season with 52 points.
During the 2008 season, Hominuck was once again on his way to another 50-plus point season (he would finish with a career-best 54 points). Still, the Swarm opted to ship him off to Edmonton half way through that season.
Hominuck’s production dipped slightly in his first full season with the Rush in 2009, as he registered 47 points. Hominuck was then moved once more that season, being sent to the Toronto Rock.
The 2010 season was a struggle for Hominuck, as he only played nine games in an injury-plagued season. This lead Hominuck to decide to take the following season off from lacrosse. He was subsequently placed on waivers by the Rock, and released.
In the summer of 2011, Hominuck joined a summer league, winning the Mann Cup as a member of the Brampton Excelsiors. That, in turn, would earn him a tryout, and eventual contract, with the Philadelphia Wings for the 2012 NLL regular season.
With the Wings, Hominuck seemed to return to form, posting 50 points in 15 games. Once again, however, Hominuck was traded, this time, to a familiar franchise: the Buffalo Bandits.
It was initially difficult for Hominuck to crack the lineup in his return, as he sat out the first two games of the season as a healthy scratch. Injuries among the forward ranks afforded Hominuck the opportunity to prove himself, and he capitalized.
In his first game of the season, a 14-13 triumph over Rochester, Hominuck notched a hat trick.
“It was a little bit depressing not to play the first two games,” Hominuck said. “When I scored that first goal it was a huge relief. And when I notched those three it definitely added to my confidence.”
Hominuck would repeat that same feat in his first game back in Banditland, registering another hat trick. He practically leapt over the end boards celebrating his first goal. The goal made him realize that there is no place quite like Banditland.
“The back-to-back three goals game really helps the confidence,” Hominuck said. “This arena is so electrifying, that goal happened so fast, and next thing I know I’m jumping up on the glass. I didn’t really think of it. Everything is going in for me right now.”
In Hominuck’s “new beginning” with the Bandits, he was also fortunate enough to score his 300th career point.
“I didn’t even know I did that until the coaches told me,” Hominuck said. “At this point in my career I don’t really count the points. It’s all about winning a championship.”
However, it’s not just Hominuck’s offense that has kept him in the lineup. Bandits head coach Darris Kilgour said that he made several important adjustments to his game, making him a much more valuable player.
“Coming into the league, I just focused on my offense,” Hominuck said. “I had to add something to my game, and know the team defense, as well as play transition. If I get stuck out there I have shut them down. Hopefully I can keep that going.”
As far as settling in to being a Bandit again, it would be difficult to blame Hominuck for not feeling settled just yet, as the most time he has spent with any franchise is two years.
“I don’t feel settled in yet. Ask me that in another two years,” Hominuck said. “[Buffalo] does feel like home though.”