The Campbell River Storm started the New Year much the same way they ended 2014 – with a convincing victory over a north division opponent.
The Storm posted their ninth victory in ten games by steam rolling the Comox Valley Glacier Kings 9-1 Friday night at Rod Brind’Amour Arena.
“Over the Christmas break we talked about how we wanted to apply the pressure, not feel the pressure. I thought we did that pretty consistently for 60 minutes tonight,” said Storm head coach Lee Stone, “We have 13 games left on the schedule and our goal is to go 13-0 heading into the playoffs.”
Campbell River received a boost with the return of three key players to the line-up. Forwards Dane Feeney, Grady McInnes, and Zack Sanderson had all been out with long-term injuries, and each contributed to the score sheet in their first game back.
“It felt good,” said Feeney, who missed six weeks with an upper body injury, “I definitely took my time coming back this time. I rushed it (before the holiday break) and ended up getting reinjured.
“I learned my lesson and waited until I was healthy – I think it showed on the ice tonight.”
Feeney, Colin Blake, and Gage Colpron each scored twice and added an assist as the locals snapped a 1-1 tie with four goals in the second period, and then piled on four more in the third. Singles went to Sanderson, Gavin Rauser and Andy Stevens.
Will McNamara collected a pair of assists to give him 62 points, second in league scoring behind Victoria’s Sam McMullen, who has 67. Colpron is a close third with 59, and tops the VIJHL in goals with 29.
Special teams were a factor as the Storm scored once on the power-play, and twice while shorthanded. Jesse Michel picked up his twelve win of season in net as Campbell River outshot Comox Valley 41-24.
The Storm expects to have another injured forward back in the line-up for their next game, Thursday night in Nanaimo.
“Daine Elphicke should be ready to go against the Buccaneers,” says Coach Stone, “He adds a physical element to our team so it will be nice to have him back.”
Next home game is Friday night when the Storm hosts the Oceanside Generals. Puck drop is set for 7:30pm at Rod Brind’Amour Arena.