Storm bounce back to split weekend series

Captain Gage Colpron led the way with his second hat-trick of the season

After a disappointing 3-2 loss on Friday to the Kerry Park Islanders, the Campbell River Storm were looking for a strong response in the return match at Mill Bay on Sunday.

The black and red would reply with a convincing 5-2 win.

Captain Gage Colpron led the way with his second hat-trick of the season. He would finish the afternoon with four points and sits atop of the VIJHL scoring race with 22 points on 13 goals and 9 assists.

He’s off to a good start to his final season with the Storm but Head Coach Lee Stone says there’s more to his game than just offence, “He’s strong in his own end, he kills penalties and he’s a great leader. I can’t say enough about what he does for our hockey club.”

Colpron’s first goal came at the 5:46 mark of the first when Braeden Cyra centred the puck into the slot for the captain who fired it along the ice past goalie Chase Anderson. Line mate, Colin Blake, also assisted on the goal.

Cyra would make it 2-1 late in the period after Blake won an important faceoff deep in the Islanders end. Colpron would get the second assist.

The league’s scoring leader would find himself in the box for 12 minutes, early in the second frame, after responding to a pair of aggressive hits from Patrick Poets on Storm teammates Keenan Scardina and Cole Slaney.

Campbell River led 3-2 with twenty minutes left in regulation. The third would be a strong period for the first place Storm, outshooting the Islanders 10-4. Anderson, who was in net for the Isles win on Friday, would keep it close but with 2 ½ minutes left he was pulled for the extra attacker.

Scardina would capitalize with his first of the season and Colpron would close out the scoring. Both empty-netters coming off turnovers.

The penalty kill or as the team refers to it, “the power kill”, is best in the league and the province. The Storm have allowed just two goals in the 55 times they have been shorthanded this season and have scored three times while a player down.

The PK was perfect over the weekend and according to Stone, “it’s an area where we have a lot of pride. We’re real aggressive and when you take the opposing team’s power play out of the game it makes a difference.”

The biggest area of concern for the Storm continues to be their power play which is ranked second last at just 13 per cent. Stone feels the skill and talent is in place to be successful but the units are looking for the perfect play instead of getting pucks and bodies to the net.

On Friday night, in the 3-2 loss, Storm goals came from Christian Brandt and Brett Witala.

The Storm remain in first place with 7 wins, 2 losses and a tie. Their next action is Thursday in Nanaimo ahead of a home date with the Westshore Wolves on Friday.