Campbell River Storm climbs to first place tie with Nanaimo

Storm right winger Gage Colpron is thwarted by a Peninsula Panthers defender
Storm right winger Gage Colpron is thwarted by a Peninsula Panthers defender's sprawling stick check.
— image credit: Alistair Taylor/The Mirror

An extended injury break in the third period appeared to rattle the Peninsula Panthers in their Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League tilt against the Campbell River Storm Sunday.

Although being outshot, 33-18, the Panthers were holding the Storm to a 0-0 tie going into the middle of the third period when the Panthers' defenseman Brett Sjerven was injured after being taken into the boards. Both teams went to the dressing room while paramedics tended to the injured player and took him off the ice in a gurney.


Panthers' coach Brian Passmore said, "Brett is doing good and has severe pain in his upper neck, he was able to walk out of hospital after several hours of tests. It was a scary hockey play and both teams were very concerned for Brett.

"The medical staff from both teams should be commended for how swiftly they handled the situation. Brett Sjerven is out indefinitely for at least 2-3 weeks."

Coming back to finish out the game, the Storm scored three unanswered goals, two from the game's first star Braydon Horcoff and one from Brendan deVries. The Storm's Jack Surgenor was the game's third star. Stephen Heslop of the Panthers was the second star. Shots on goal ended up being 57-27 in favour of the Storm.

"It was tough to keep the team focused during the break as they of course were more concerned about their teammate at that time. I told the team that Brett was in good hands and we will try to finish the game with Brett in our minds," Passmore said. "We were already playing the game short staffed with several injuries adding up over the past two weeks. Coming back out to play with four defence caught up to us in the end. When Campbell River scored the first goal with just under four minutes remaining it was a big blow that we were unable to recover from.

"Credit goes to Campbell River for earning a great hard fought win and they never stopped coming at us all night. As soon as the final buzzer went we packed up as soon as possible and headed down to the hospital to see how our fellow teammate was doing.

"We are all happy Brett Sjerven is okay."

The victory ties the storm with Nanaimo for first place in the Northern Division with 36 points. Second place is held by Comox with 35 points. Oceanside occupies the basement with eight points.

Victoria continues to lead the league in points with 42 and first place in the Southern Division.

Sunday's win came after a 4-3 overtime loss to the Saanich Braves on the road Friday night.

The Storm got goals from deVries, Dom Kolbeins and Brayden Taekema who tied the game at 15:51 of the third to send it into overtime.

Despite outshooting the Braves 61-38, the Storm couldn't seem to make the three stars list with all three positions going to Braves players.

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