Unlike most weekends, where they play two – or even three – games over the course of three days, the Campbell River Storm had a relatively quiet weekend this week, with only one game on the schedule.
The Storm traveled down to Saanich on Friday to take on the Braves, who sat in third place overall in the VIJHL behind only the Storm and the Victoria Cougars.
Darren Hards opened up the scoring for the Storm five minutes in, but Saanich got that one back with a powerplay marker later in the period from Cameron LeSergent.
Just 34 seconds into the second period, however, Josh Pederson scored an unassisted goal while the Storm were down a man with Cole Slaney still in the penalty box serving the end of the tripping penalty he took with under a minute to play in the first, giving the Storm the lead again.
The visitors would add another just over midway through the period when Davis Frank found the netting behind Braves goaltender Chris Combladakis to put the Storm up by two. Saanich would get one closer when Dale McCabe beat Aaron de Kok with just under two minutes left in the second.
The third period was a back-and-forth battle, with only Noah Fladager finding the scoreboard midway through, giving the Storm a 4-2 lead, which is where the game would end.
Despite playing short handed for a significant portion of the game – the Storm racked up 28 penalty minutes to Saanich’s four on the night – the numbers up on the scoreboard was all that mattered when it was all said and done. The Storm moved into a tie for first place overall with Victoria with the win and gave themselves an eight point over the Nanaimo Buccaneers in the North Division even after the Buc’s squeeked by the struggling Comox Valley Glacier Kinds 1-0 on Saturday night.
De Kok had another outstanding night between the pipes for the Storm, stopping 46 of 48 shots. He currently sits in fourth place in the league in save percentage (.934), fourth place in goals against average (2.00) and leads the league in goals saved above average (14.58). In fact, both rookie Campbell River goaltenders – de Kok and Eric Samyn – sit in the top-five league-wide in goals against average. Samyn, who has played in five games for the Storm this season, currently has a GAA of 1.82.
The Storm now head back out on the road for another pair of away games next weekend at Peninsula and Oceanside before returning home Nov. 30 to take on the Oceanside Generals.
Puck drop at 7:30 at the Brindy.