Campbell River Storm keep pace atop the league, acquire yet another impact forward

Campbell River product Jake McKenzie is on his way home after three years in Comox – two as captain

The battle for top spot in the VIJHL remains a tight one heading into December, with the Campbell River Storm and the Nanaimo Buccaneers well clear of the rest of the pack.

But last weekend the Storm played host to the Kerry Park Islanders at Rod Brind’Amour Arena and actually had a little trouble with the last-place team in the South Division.

Neither team could seem to get anything going through 20 minutes of play, heading to the dressing room for the first intermission in a scoreless tie. In fact, it took until the mid-point of the second period for anyone to get on the scoreboard when the Storm’s Darren Hards put away his 13th goal of the year from Dawson Frank and Aiden Sutherland on the Storm powerplay.

Hards has been on something of a tear of late. Since the Storm’s Oct. 21 game at home against the Comox Valley Glacier Kings, Hards has had his number on the scoresheet in nine consecutive games for a total of 17 points, including a hat trick and adding an assist in front of the home crowd the last time the Glacier Kings came to town, earning him first star honours. He currently sits in fourth place league wide in scoring with 31 points.

Frank would manage to get the home team up by two just 2:44 into the third period, but the Islanders’ Evan Easton would get that goal back three minutes later after capitalizing on the Islanders’ fifth powerplay opportunity of the night when the Storm’s Reid Linsday went to the box for hooking.

Thankfully, Storm captain Dylan McCann would find the empty net after the Islanders called goaltender Chase Anderson to the bench for an extra attacker, and the game would end 3-1.

The Storm came out of the weekend just one point up on Nanaimo and atop the league after Nanaimo kept pace with a win over the Glacier Kings.

But apparently head coach and general manager Lee Stone wants more, because on Tuesday he got involved in a three-way trade with the Glacier Kings and the Abbotsford Pilots of the Pacific Junior Hockey League, which sees the Storm acquire 20-year-old forward Jake McKenzie.

McKenzie, a Campbell River product, is on his way home after being with the Glacier Kings for three years – serving two of those as captain – averaging almost a point per game over his 118 games with the team.

“Jake is the type of player that will do anything for the team,” Stone says. “He makes an already deep forward group even deeper.”

The deal sees Ryan MacDonald sent off to Abbotsford, where he is sure to have a huge impact, Stone says.

“Abbotsford is getting a player that has captain abilities – a player that competes for every inch of ice every time he’s on the ice,” Stone says, calling MacDonald, “an unbelievable player and an even better person. It’s been an absolute pleasure getting to know Ryan on and off the ice and we wish him the very best of luck.”

The Storm take on the Oceanside Generals at the Brindy tonight (Friday, Dec. 1) before making the short drive down to the Comox Valley to take on the Glacier Kings tomorrow. Puck drop for both games is 7:30 p.m.

Just Posted

Families learn to navigate the perils of the Internet

Speaker talks to Campbell River kids, parents about staying safe in a social media world

‘Priceless’ hat stolen from Indigenous art store in Campbell River during break-in

Ernie Smith, co-owner of Awatin Aboriginal Art, looking for help in recovering stolen hat

Vancouver measles outbreak prompts vaccine vigilance on Island

No cases here yet, but Island health authorities push measles vaccinations - and not just for kids

BC Hydro increasing flow down Elk Falls to assist steelhead migration and spawning

Water flows within Elk Falls Canyon are increasing today to assist steelhead… Continue reading

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Students give two thumbs up to no more B.C. student loan interest

Eliminating the loan interest charges could save the average graduate $2,300 over 10 years

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

City of Port Alberni cancels tourist train operations for 2019

Steam train to McLean Mill is out of commission for repairs; city wants to re-examine rail costs

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

B.C. business groups worry about looming economic decline in wake of NDP budget

The party’s second government budget focused on plenty of spending, business advocates say

Most Read