Campbell River Storm crowned VIJHL champs in fourth overtime

It took three full overtime periods and 4:48 of the fourth overtime to decide a winner in the VIJHL final

Mark Berry

Special to the Mirror

The Campbell River Storm are once again VIJHL Champions following an epic game seven 4-3 quadruple overtime win on Sunday at the Archie Browning Sports Centre in Esquimalt.

The two teams peppered the goalies with 63 shots in overtime, the Storm with 44 of those attempts. Cougars’ goalie, Anthony Ciurro, was magnificent turning aside 81 of 85 shots in the game.

At 4:48 of the fourth overtime, from a Brett Kinley offensive zone faceoff win, Chris Brandt grabbed the puck and weaved himself about halfway between the goal and corner, then fired a shot that surprised Ciurro.

Brandt, a 20 year old, said after the game, “If we lost the game it would be all over, I’m surprised it went in like that, on the shortside from the goal line. It doesn’t feel like real life.”

The Storm opened an early 2-0 lead on goals from Sheldon Brett and Colin Blake.

It took the Cougars some time to rebound from that early pressure but by end of the first period were back into the game on a Dom Kolbeins’ power play goal.

The South Division champs completed the comeback in the second on goals from Grayden Hohl and Kolbeins, his second of the game. Carter Hikichi picked up a goal for the Storm.

After 2, these two rivals were locked at 3.

Then the goaltending duel started. From the third period on, they faced a lot of rubber, 82 shots in total with incredible saves at both ends.

The Storm season lives on. They are now Creston Valley bound earning a spot at the Cyclone Taylor Cup against the best in British Columbia.

They play the KIJHL Champion, Beaver Valley Nitehawks (38-5-0-3) on Thursday at 3:30 at the Johnny Bucyk Arena.