Campbell River Storm Head Coach and General Manager Lee Stone (left) says the team is gearing up for its first game of the VIJHL season this Friday against the Comox Valley Glacier Kings. File photo by Marissa Tiel – Campbell River Mirror

Campbell River Storm set to face Comox Valley in season opener

Fan attendance remains a question mark, but broadcast gets boost

It’ll be a while before any Campbell River Storm fans are packing the Brindy.

The Junior B hockey team is set to host its first team this Friday and it’s likely the stands will be empty.

The team, which plays in the North Division of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL), has approval from at least one governing body to have up to 25 fans present during games, but the home venue, the Rod Brind’Amour Arena at the Strathcona Regional District-operated Strathcona Gardens, has yet to give its seal of approval.

“Right now, the local health authority has said that we are allowed to have a small number of fans. The regional district has not agreed to that yet,” said Head Coach and General Manager Lee Stone. “So we’re really hoping that the regional district steps up to help out the Campbell River Storm.”

RELATED: VIJHL season could start Oct. 1, says league president

On Wednesday morning, the facility’s deputy manager, Ryan Christison, said they were still waiting to hear from viaSport and other sport governing bodies about how many people will be permitted in the arena for games.

Part of the VIJHL’s plan includes cohort groups. The Storm would be part of the North Division cohort, alongside the Comox Valley Glacier Kings, the Oceanside Generals and the Nanaimo Buccaneers.

Stone says the games will be home-home on weekends. On Oct. 2, they’re set to host the Glacier Kings before heading down to Comox Saturday for the second game. The following weekend, the Storm are set to face the Buccaneers, followed by the Generals the weekend after.

Stone says that right now, the plan is for the Storm to only play games within its North Division cohort and then the winner of the North Division would face the winner of the South Division in the league final.

With the uncertainty over whether fans will be permitted at games, the Storm has moved the camera closer to the ice surface to offer better coverage during game broadcasts.

Mark Berry, the voice of the Storm, will once again be doing play-by-play during the games.

“With no fans, we’ve tailor-made the arena a little bit for the broadcast,” says Stone. “Mark Berry has pumped up the broadcast so we’re going to be gearing different things toward that broadcast and really working on building that.”

The Storm have no qualms about their goal this season: they’re chasing a championship.

The team has been making moves in the offseason with a number of returning players as well as the addition of some “big pieces” Stone says.

“We’re really excited about the group we have. We probably have one of the more offensively talented groups that we’ve had here in a really long time,” he says. “It’s unfortunate we won’t be able to fill the Brindy at least right away, but we should have a team that most nights is the more talented squad as long as we can put in the work, we should be pretty successful.”

RELATED: VIJHL finalizing cohort groups and schedules for upcoming season

The Storm’s season is set to begin Oct. 2 against the Comox Valley Glacier Kings.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Campbell River StormVIJHL

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A 3.0-magnitude earthquake occurred off Ucluelet just after 12:30 a.m. on April 10 and was reportedly felt as far south as Oregon. (Map via United States Geological Survey)
Quake off Ucluelet reportedly felt as far south as Oregon

Magnitude 1.5 earthquake also reported off Vancouver Island’s west coast hours earlier

The inside of the Campbell River Community Centre gymnasium has been marked off in order to facilitate the public flowing through the clinic as they receive their COVID-19 vaccination. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell river Mirror
Leftover vaccines go into arms, not down the drain: Island Health

No unused COVID-19 vaccines are going to waste at the end of… Continue reading

Where urban and natural landscapes meet can be a very interesting place. The Museum at Campbell River and Greenways Land Trust are hosting a talk on Earth Day on that topic. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Where urban and natural meet

Earth Day talk looks at urban biodiversity

Ryan Rasmussen goes on a training run on Quadra Island. Photo supplied.
Quadra Island man to run 160 km to raise funds for alternative cancer care

‘I feel like I need to be in pain to raise the money… I can’t do something that’s easy’ — Ryan Rasmussen

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Ruming Jiang and his dog Chiu Chiu are doing fine following a brush with hypothermia that saw several people work together to get them out of the Fraser River near Langley’s Derby Reach Park on March 25, 2021 (Special to the Advance Times)
Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

A grateful Ruming Jiang says he will thank them again, this time in person when the pandemic ends

The 10-part Netflix series Maid, which is being exclusively shot in Greater Victoria, was filming near Prospect Lake in Saanich last month. (Photo courtesy Fred Haynes)
Province announces $150,000 towards South Island film studio, fulfilling B.C. NDP promise

Investment to fund movie studio feasibility study at Camosun College

Tyson Ginter, 7, is proud of his latest Hot Wheels he recently received by Quesnel RCMP Const. Matt Joyce. (Photo submitted)
B.C. Mountie handing out toy cars to light up children’s faces

‘A lot of times it will be the only interaction they have with the police,’ says Const. Matt Joyce

Most Read