Wow, what a week for the Campbell River Storm. Three games that couldn’t have been more different; a favourable 9-7 shooting gallery in Westshore, a disciplined 2-1 victory in Oceanside and a frustrating 2-1 home loss to the upstart Glacier Kings that drew the coach’s ire.
The Comox Valley Glacier Kings have been the ‘Cinderella’ team in the league this season.
They have great goaltending and a lethal offence that has been opportunistic.
On Friday night they showed great patience, pounced on Storm defensive errors in the second period and took a 2-0 lead into the third period.
Max Daerendinger scored Campbell River’s only goal of the night, a blast that went off the inside of the post spoiling Marcus Gloss’s shutout bid.
The Storm dropped their fourth of the season, 2-1, before their biggest crowd of the season.
Following the game, Storm Head Coach, Lee Stone, was blunt in his game assessment, “I don’t think our urgency was there, we gave up too many odd man rushes, we didn’t get to the net once, we’re not happy where we are right now.”
Then he issued a rare public warning to his players, “Tomorrow in Oceanside we’re going to find out what we’re made of. If we come out ready to play then we’re happy, if not we’re going to make some changes. We’ve been relying on the same six or seven guys putting in the effort over and over again.”
On Saturday, Stone’s team got the message and opened the scoring 28 seconds into the contest when Christian Brandt notched his eleventh of the season.
Later in the period, Dawson Frank scored a gem, after accepting a Trevor Bottomley pass inside the Storm blue line, he went the distance beating a D-man and the Oceanside netminder with a nice toe-drag.
That was it for Storm scoring as they then stuck to the strong defensive game that was their hallmark early in the season.
Aaron Brewer led the way on Saturday frustrating the Generals, winning battles along the boards all night.
In one instance on the penalty kill he stole the puck in the o-zone drove it to the boards and out muscled three players to maintain possession.
The Storm finished Week 10 with the best record in the VIJHL (17-4) and the third best in the province.
Week 10 started in Westshore on Wednesday.
It was a strange one; the ice was tilted towards both nets and it didn’t seem like the goaltenders for both the Wolves and Storm were catching any breaks.
In addition to some odd goals, and there were some, the game was highlighted by a 45 minute delay early in the second period when Wolves forward, Cole Pickup, missed Erhardt with a hit shattering the glass at the score keeper’s bench. When play resumed the weird night continued. Coach Stone said afterwards, “We put three in our own net, we haven’t done that all season. It was just one of those wacky close to Halloween games.”
For most of the contest, the two sides traded goals but at 18:20 of the third period, Colin Blake scored his third of night with what proved to be the game winner. It was set up by Erhardt.
The Storm have just one game this weekend. Once again they are on the road in Saanich for a Friday night game at the George Pearkes Arena.