Storm forward Reid Wheeldon is unable to elude a Glacier King defender in Friday’s 2-1 victory at Brind’Amour Arena. Alistair Taylor/Campbell River Mirror
It was a long week of hard practices for the Campbell River Storm following that 8-7 loss to the South Division leading Saanich Braves. Thursday and a date with the Buccaneers at the Nanaimo Ice Centre could not come soon enough.
Thursday night – Storm 4 Buccaneers 1
“Early we did a good job of bringing it to them, I don’t think they were ready for that speed,” said Storm bench boss Lee Stone following a 4-1 victory over the Bucs.
Max Daerendinger opened the scoring just 43 seconds into the contest after receiving a nice pass from Dylan McCann in the slot. For McCann, it was his first game back from Junior A in Saskatchewan.
In the second period, Nanaimo did a good job of clogging up the neutral zone and frustrating the Storm breakout. Persistence finally paid off late in the frame when the visitors picked up a pair of goals set up by Colin Blake.
With 1:21 left in the period, Dawson Frank showed great patience on the doorstep and roofed one over the shoulder of Bucs keeper John Hawthorne. Thirty seconds later, Colton Rhodes took a Blake pass in the slot and wristed one, blocker side, for the 3-0 lead.
In the third, the two teams exchanged goals; for Nanaimo, Trent Bell shorthanded and for Campbell River, Cole Slaney with his first of the season.
Chris Smith was back in goal for the Storm and made two memorable saves. The first coming early when he made a spectacular toe save with Bell alone in the low slot. In the third, with Nanaimo on the power play, he robbed Bell yet again, this time with his glove on a shot fired from just outside the blue paint.
Friday night – Storm 2 Glacier Kings 1
On Friday, the Comox Valley Glacier Kings were at the Brindy in a battle for top spot in the North.
The Kings came out fast and were rewarded when Jackson Gibson found the net midway through the first. Brayden McCartney and Liam Nijhoff picked up the assists.
Reid Wheeldon played a strong game for the Storm setting up the tying goal and later in the second, the game winner. Early in the period, just outside the crease Wheeldon slid a pass to Blake who tapped it in for the power play goal.
At 13:34, Wheeldon received a Slaney pass at centre ice and drove to the corner where he found Mateo Albinati in the high slot. Albinati fired the puck top shelf past William Cawthorn for the game winning goal.
There was no scoring in the third period.
The Storm host a pair of games over the coming weekend. The Oceanside Generals, fresh off their win over the Glacier Kings, are back at the Brindy Friday night. On Sunday, at 4:00, Campbell River fans get their first opportunity of the season to see the Peninsula Panthers.