The Campbell River Storm got back to their winning ways with a vengeance on Friday night as they welcomed the struggling Comox Valley Glacier Kings to the Brindy. The Storm had lost two of six in October before Friday night – including back-to-back road losses the previous weekend – and were eager to turn things around.
It didn’t really look that way early, however, and the Glacier Kings got on the board first about six minutes into the first period on a short handed goal by Damian Rennie.
That seemed to spark the Storm, as just 20 seconds or so later, Jory Swanson would beat Comox Valley Goaltender Zac Raesler. Clayton Bono found the back of the net a few minutes later and Brax Klassen added a third for the Storm before the period was out, sending the teams to the dressing room with the Storm up two.
The Storm had more than doubled Comox Valley’s shot total in the third and were clearly in no mood to let up on the visitors in the second.
It was more than half way through the second before another tally was added to the board, and it was on the home side once again as Keagen Abbott beat Raesler at 12:38. Pearce Messer made it 5-1 for the home team just over a minute later the on the Storm’s seventh powerplay attempt of the game, finally solving the Glacier Kings’ defensive strategy when short-handed.
After letting in five of 21 shots, Raesler was asked to take a seat and Brandon Naidu took his spot between the pipes for the Comox Valley, but he wouldn’t fare much better, as the hometeam kept the pressure on, and Dylan Franklin added another powerplay marker 20 seconds into Naidu’s term. The Glacier Kings got one back a few minutes later, but Jake Boxer beat Naidu again before the period was out to make the game 7-2 after two.
When Dylan Franklin potted the Storm’s eighth of the night just under three minutes into the third, you could tell the rout was on. Jory Swanson added his second on the power play about six minutes into the third to make it 9-2. Jackson Dyke took an interference call in the neutral zone just over halfway through the period which allowed the Glacier Kings to get one more on the powerplay, but that was it for the visitors in terms of scoring on the day.
With just over two minutes left, Swanson found the back of the net to finish off his hat trick on the night and the game ended 10-3 in favour of the Storm.
The celebration was short-lived, however, as the team then had to travel back down-Island to visit the top team in the division who had shut them out a week earlier in that same rink: the Oceanside Generals.
It was another tight defensive battle on Saturday, like it was the week before. Unlike the week before, however, the Storm managed to keep it scoreless all the way into the third period, thanks to the heroics of newly-returned goaltender Aaron de Kok. de Kok stopped the first 37 shots he faced against Oceanside on Saturday before finally getting beat by the Generals’ Will Norman with six minutes left the third.
The Generals added an empty netter after de Kok came to the bench for the extra attacker late in the period, ending the game in the same 0-2 score from the week before.
Head coach and general manager Lee Stone says he’ll take the good with the bad from the weekend, saying the team is moving in the right direction.
“Obviously we were happy with Friday night,” Stone says. “I think anytime you put 10 goals up on an opponent, you’re happy with that. Scored a couple power play goals. Obviously Saturday we were very short manned. We’re battling some pretty serious injuries right now. I thought we went into Oceanside and played really well, but were bviously not able to get the job quite done. So we’re not quite there yet, but we’re certainly on our way and you know I’m happy with the progress we’re making right now as a team.”
The Storm will now welcome the Victoria Cougars to town on Friday before heading down to the Comox Valley on Saturday for a rematch with the Glacier Kings.
Puck drop for Friday’s game is 7:30 p.m.