Damon Porter (67) tries to go top shelf. Photo by Mike Chouinard/Campbell River Mirror

Campbell River Storm preps for ‘second’ season in playoffs

VIJHL leaders hoping to get healthy for post-season run

For the first round of the Storm’s so-called ‘second’ season, Campbell River coach Mike Wilson would just like to get a full lineup.

Oh, and focus on how to keep or win back momentum – the game within the game – during the playoffs.

“For us, a key thing is playing puck possession hockey,” he said.

This week, on Tuesday and Friday, the Storm play host to the Peninsula Panthers, the last-place team in the South Division, but Wilson is not taking anything for granted.

“They’re a hard-working team. They’re gritty,” he said.

The coach describes the opponents as a team that will grind it out to win a game, so he wants to make sure the Storm does not allow the Panthers to be more physical through the first-round series.

Another challenge for the Storm has been missing some players.

“Right now, we’ve been banged up,” Wilson said. “We’re getting pretty close to healthy.”

As well, a few players have been seconded by other Junior A teams. Pearce Messer has been playing with the BCHL’s Surrey Eagles, while local product Davis Frank has been in the lineup for the BCHL’s Chilliwack Chiefs.

Even with some gaps in the lineup, the team displays a well-balanced attack. Moreover, if it’s defence that wins championships, as some maintain, the Storm are in a good position. After Saturday’s finale against the Westshore Wolves, the Storm finished the season with the league’s lowest-ever goals against, 92 over 48 games this season, compared with last year’s record-setting total of 96.

Saturday’s tilt with Westshore also marked the 100th game with the Storm for veteran Reid Wheeldon.

“I know he’s battled a lot of injuries,” Wilson said. “I’ve got all the respect in the world for him.”

In the first period, Damon Porter was hooked on a breakaway and scored on the penalty shot, while Darren Hards added a goal early in the second. The regular season finale was uneven though, with a breakdown midway through the second that saw Westshore tie it up, then take the lead mere seconds later en route to a 3-2 win for the visitors. The game was a makeup game for one cancelled due to weather earlier in February.

If the Saturday makeup game a bit of a let-down, having no impact on the standings for Campbell River, the team fared better in its regularly scheduled final games. On Thursday night in Nanaimo, the Storm blanked the Bucs 2-0, with goals from Liam Nijhoff and Noah Fladager. Aaron de Kok posted the shutout.

On Friday at home, the Storm easily won over Comox Valley 7-1, with Mike Dyck notching a hat trick. Nijhoff, Josh Pederson, Damon Kramer and Owen Christensen each had goals, and all but four Storm players either had an assist or goal on the night.

The first round playoff series with Peninsula kicks off Tuesday night and resumes in Campbell River on Friday at 7:30 p.m. The series switches to North Saanich on Sunday and Monday when Peninsula hosts games three and four. If necessary, games five will take place in Campbell River on March 5, game six in North Saanich on March 8 and game seven in Campbell River on March 9.

(Note: This story went to press before results from Tuesday’s night first game.)

 

Reid Wheeldon marked his 100th game with the Storm on Saturday. Photo, Mike Chouinard/Campbell River Storm

The fans also celebrated Wheeldon’s 100th game. Photo, Mike Chouinard/Campbell River Mirror

Storm coach Mike Wilson. Photo, Mike Chouinard/Campbell River Mirror

Just Posted

VIDEO: Saanich resident shocked when trespasser licks security camera, rummages through mail

‘I found the situation really bizarre,’ said the Gordon Head resident

BC Ferries crew member taken to hospital after getting struck by bow doors

Two sailings between Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay were cancelled

Vancouver Island Society for Adaptive Snowsports volunteer recruitment session planned

The Vancouver Island Society for Adaptive Snowsports is a non-profit charitable society… Continue reading

Campbell River Search and Rescue to be called in to search for Kelly McLoed

If you come across a groundsearch team tomorrow, listen to them.

North Island candidates chime in on Indigenous rights

Should we adopt the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People into Canadian law?

ELECTION 2019: It’s so close, it could come down to who turns out to vote

Black Press Media’s polling analyst on the origins of predictive seat modelling in Canada

Jack’s Devils beat Quinn’s Canucks 1-0 in NHL brother battle

New Jersey youngster scores first career goal against Vancouver

Two charged after owner’s wild ride through Kamloops in his stolen truck

Crystal Rae Dorrington, 37, and Derrick Ronald Pearson, 32, facing multiple charges

Judge orders credit union’s bank records for Kelowna social worker facing theft allegations

The man is accused of negligence, breach of contract, fraud and a conspiracy with Interior Savings

Leaders pour it on with rallies, boosts for candidates as campaign reaches peak

The federal election campaign has reached a crescendo

Allegations of racism lead to ministry investigation at Vancouver private school

St. George’s School was contacted over what the school describes as ‘deeply offensive behaviour online’

Not a political question: Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta

Edmonton police estimated the size of the crowd at about 4,000

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

Most Read