Special to the Mirror
Three seasons ago when Lee Stone took over the head coaching duties the glory days of the Campbell River Storm were a memory.
Sure, the club still drew the best attendance numbers in the league but winning no longer seemed to be in the cards. In 2012-13, they could only muster a 12 win, 36 loss season.
Just a few years older than his players, at age 24, Stone took on his first Junior hockey coaching assignment and immediately turned the franchise around leading the Storm to 30 wins that first year and a Western Canadian Championship in his second.
On Saturday, the Campbell River Storm escaped Parksville with a 5-3 win over the Generals marking his 100th regular season win as head coach.
It wasn’t the prettiest of wins for the Red and Black and when asked for his comments on the performance, Stone said wryly, “Let’s warm up the bus, take the two points and get out of Dodge.”
He also credited the Oceanside coaches and players, saying, “They don’t quit, it doesn’t matter what the score is, they’re always in it and it showed tonight.”
During the second intermission, with the two teams were tied at three, the captains held a players only meeting in the dressing room. The team came out hard in the third. Gage Colpron and Colin Blake would lead the way in the final frame for the victory.
Blake’s goal on a breakaway capped off a five point weekend in which the Maple Ridge minor hockey product moved to No. 4 on the team’s all-time scoring leaderboard, and second all-time in assists.
Colpron’s empty-netter gave him 46 goals on the season, tops among VIJHL snipers, also moving him up to No. 2 on the team’s all-time scoring leaderboard.
Carter Hikichi continued his hot streak with two goals, his 11th and 12th points in the last six games.
Christian Brandt picked up the other Storm goal.
The team was without the services of scheduled starter Riley Welyk after the netminder took a puck to the neck during the warm-up.
On Friday night, Campbell River handled the Westshore Wolves 6-2 before one of the biggest crowds of the year at Rod Brind’Amour Arena.
Josh Coblenz and his three goal performance highlighted the line he centred between Blake and Hikichi.
The three were flying figuring in on four of the six goals. Friday night goals came from Coblenz, Hikichi, Colpron and Reece Costain.
The Storm have clinched first place in the North Division and hold the third best record in BC Junior B hockey behind the Victoria Cougars and the Kimberley Dynamiters.
There are just two home games left in the regular season. The Storm face the Comox Valley Glacier Kings on Friday night at 7:30 at the Brindy.