The Campbell River Storm are very clear in the final destination for their 2020/21 Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL) season: a berth in the Cyclone Taylor Cup final.
With each new signing, the Junior B club is bolstering its campaign for a championship-winning season.
“Our goals next season are pretty simple,” says the latest player to re-sign with the Storm, 19-year-old left-winger Keenan Toal, “win a championship.”
Toal is the sixth player to sign on with the Storm for next season. The Courtenay hockey product played just 29 games in a season marred with injuries.
“Keenan has battles through some very tough luck with injuries, in particular last season,” said Lee Stone, Storm head coach and general manager. “This break will help him come back next season 100 per cent healthy and ready to lead our squad into battle.”
The Storm had just advanced to the VIJHL North Division final against the Oceanside Generals when the league suspended playoffs indefinitely.
Toal, didn’t play any post-season games last year, but he did collect 11 points (five goals and six assists) in the regular season.
He was the recipient of the team’s 2020 Jami Harris Trainers Award for perseverance through injury.
“He’s a warrior plain and simple,” said Stone. “Keenan plays a lot of difficult minutes in different situations for us. He will be relied upon to be a key penalty-killer and I fully expect him to have a career year offensively.”
Toal, a Courtenay native, has been working for his family company during the hockey break.
He’s looking forward to being back in the Rod Brind’Amour Arena in front of the team’s fans.
“Thank you for being at the Brindy every Friday night to support us,” he said. “It’s an incredible feeling to play in front of such a lively group of fans.”
This will be Toal’s final year in the VIJHL as he turns 20 in the fall.
He joins previously announced players including league newcomers Mitch Finner and Aidan Fraser and returning leaders Aaron de Kok, Jackson Dyke and Pearce Messer.
Said Toal, “We have a talented group of guys returning who want nothing but redemption from this past season.”
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