While Campbell Riverites were focused on the municipal election this weekend, their Junior B hockey team was off gallivanting all over the Island for a three-game swing ending Sunday afternoon at Rod Brind’Amour Arena.
On Friday night, the team traveled down to North Saanich to take on the Peninsula Panthers at the Panorama Recreation Centre.
The Storm managed to keep the Panthers in check through the first period, but were also unable to find the twine behind Connor McKillop. With under a minute left in the first, Logan Speirs put the Panthers up by one.
The Panthers would add to the lead just 1:34 into the second, and Speirs’ line added a third before the second was half over when David Egar – who assisted on Speirs’ earlier goal – beat Storm goaltender Jaden Little to give Peninsula a 3-0 lead.
It stayed that way until Keenan Toal broke McKillop’s shutout with just five seconds remaining in the third period, ending the game at 3-1 for Peninsula.
The Storm bounced back Saturday, however, walking into Oceanside Place in Parksville and putting two unanswered goals on the board in the first. Noel Fladager found the goal behind Generals goaltender Jacob Sweet at 7:15 and Reid Lindsay added the second at 15:48.
The Generals got one back in the second on the powerplay, but that would be as close as they would come. Davis Frank found the empty net with just over a minute left to give the Storm the 3-1 road win.
On Sunday afternoon, the team got back in front of the hometown fans, looking to solve the same Panthers team who defeated them two days earlier on the road.
Sunday’s game was a chippy affair, with both teams coming and going from the penalty box all afternoon. The teams combined for 74 minutes in penalties and, not surprisingly, all but one goal came on a powerplay.
The Panthers opened the scoring when Skyler Diamond-Burchuk found Tanner Wort with a quick clearing pass as Wort left the penalty box, sending him in alone on a breakaway against Storm goaltender Aaron de Kok. Wort sniped a quick snapshot over deKok’s glove into the top corner to give Peninsula the lead.
Noah Fladager got the Storm back into a tie just two minutes later, however, scoring the lone even-strength goal of the day from captain Cole Slaney.
The home team took the lead 2:36 into the second period when Kyle Jennings solved McKillop, at which point the game turned into a defensive struggle.
Mike Dyck managed to put the Storm into a more comfortable lead midway through the third, however, and the game would end in a third 3-1 final for the Storm this weekend – two of which they can be happy with.
Sunday’s win puts de Kok into the league lead in wins with eight. He also finds himself in the top-5 league-wide in save percentage, goals against average, total shots saved, minutes played and goals saved above average.
Next action for the Storm is this coming Friday, when they welcome the Westshore Wolves to the Brindy, when they will attempt to retain their spot at the top of the North Division. They currently lead the Nanaimo Buccaneers by four points.