The big Storm story last weekend wasn’t the loss on Friday or the win the following night, it was #88 Colin Blake.
On Saturday night in Mill Bay, when Blake set up Aaron Brewer with the game winning goal, he set a Campbell River Storm milestone.
His 140th assist with the team moved him past Storm great Jason Jaques and alone atop the club’s career assists chart.
“It’s kind of surreal to think about it, I would have never thought of myself achieving this record,” said the modest fifth year veteran of the team. “It’s been an honour playing along great line mates that can score and make this all possible.”
When Blake showed up at training camp back in 2012, very few would have predicted that he’d stick with the team, never mind go into the Storm record books.
He was 5’ 7”, under 140 pounds and could swim inside his jersey but he was tenacious on the ice.
Head Coach Lee Stone, who inherited Blake, often shares a story about the young man.
“I was told by the ladies responsible for registration Colin’s first year that when he showed up they thought he was looking for his big brother but they said he was pretty adamant that he wanted a jersey. I’m glad they gave him one.”
He had a respectable first year (24 points in 35 GP) but had gained more of a reputation as an agitator than a scorer. Mid-way through his second season he was traded to Sicamous in the KIJHL, a challenging league renowned for its physical and skilled play.
In a Facebook post, Stone recently said, “Believe it or not but I am the guy who was dumb enough to trade Colin once upon a time. Thankfully he forgave me and still wanted back.”
Stone reacquired Blake in 2014 and since coming back has averaged 1.7 points per game, helping the Storm to a league championship, two medals at the provincials and a Western Canadian championship.
The Maple Ridge Minor Hockey product also set a single season assist record last year with 59 helpers.
His quest for team records may not be over.
He currently trails Jaques in the all-time points category by 51 with 32 regular season games to go. Jaques had an incredible career with the Storm and by the time he hung up his Junior skates in the spring of 2005, he had amassed 265 points (#1) on 126 goals (#1) and 139 assists (#2). Blake is on pace to challenge the all-time points record.
In Week eight action, the Storm allowed three second period goals on Friday falling to the Saanich Braves 3-1. They bounced back on Saturday with five in the second and coasted to a 5-3 victory over the Kerry Park Islanders.
On Friday, they return to the Brindy and take on a familiar foe, the Nanaimo Buccaneers. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m.