The Campbell River Storm managed to stay atop the Northern Division standings with a 1-1 home and away weekend, but the Nanaimo Buccaneers managed to win both their weekend games to jump up and tie them atop the league.
The Storm got some good news before the weekend’s action got going, however, when the league awarded them a win for an earlier game this season against those same Buccaneers. According to the league, Nanaimo had dressed an ineligible player for its first two games of the year, so their wins against both the Oceanside Generals and the Storm over the first week of play were given to their opponents.
Those are the only losses the Buc’s have had thus far this season, however, as they once again seem destined to be the Storm’s top opponents in the Northern Division.
On Friday, the Storm played host to the Kerry Park Islanders for a battle of defense and goaltending.
It was a chippy affair, especially in the first period, where 16 minutes of minor penalties were assessed, meaning one team or the other was playing short handed for much of the period. All those penalties were successfully killed off, however, with the teams going to the dressing rooms tied at nil.
The lone goal of the game would happen almost midway through the second period, when Kerry Park’s Tanner Tiel found the back of the net behind the Storm’s Eric Samyn. Samyn would stop 37 of 38 shots that night, good enough to earn Home Star honours.
Kerry Park’s Charles-Oliver LePage would be the only player on the ice that night better than Samyn. LePage turned away all 47 of the Storm’s opportunities to earn an impressive road shutout.
It would be a different story the following night down in Comox, however.
Zach Trempner got the Storm out to an early lead just four minutes into the game Saturday night, but the Glacier Kings would manage to get back to even late in the period.
The Storm would struggle to get momentum in the second, giving up a powerplay goal to the Glacier Kings just under four minutes into the period and would start the third period down by a score of 2-1.
Campbell River would start rolling when the Glacier Kings started heading to the penalty box in the third. First Josh Pederson would get the Storm back into a tie at two seven minutes into the period. Damon Porter would then give the Storm the lead two minutes later, also on the powerplay. Logan Berggren put the visitors ahead just 20 seconds later at even strength.
The Glacier Kings would get one back when they got their own powerplay on a Cage Newans holding penalty, but Porter would secure the win with an empty-netter to give the Storm the 5-3 road win and earn Away Star honours.
The loss certainly can’t be pinned on Glacier Kings goaltender Matthias Smith, who was peppered with almost 60 shots by the visiting Storm squad over the course of the game and earning Home Star honours for his excellent night’s work.
The Storm’s next action is at home this Friday (Sept. 28) against the Buccaneers, who could be alone atop the league by that point if they were to win over the Peninsula Panthers the night before. Puck drop is 7:30 p.m. at the Brindy.
The Storm will then get a night off before traveling down Island to take on the Victoria Cougars.