“They were relentless; they worked as hard as they normally work.”
Those were the words of Campbell River Storm General Manager and Head Coach Lee Stone describing the play of the Nanaimo Buccaneers on the weekend. The Bucs handed the Storm their first loss of the season, a 4-1 decision.
Nanaimo netminder Alex Orth was the night’s first star turning aside 41 of 42 shots. He was the difference maker for the visitors who came to Rod Brind’Amour Arena prepared.
“They capitalized on their chances and kept us to the outside and when we did generate scoring chances their goaltender was very strong,” Stone said.
Campbell River’s Kobe Oishi put one past Orth but that was it. Midway through the first period, Oishi, on a pass from Christian Brandt, fired a shot from the face-off circle that somehow found a way through the keepers pad. Alex Brewer set up the play with a nifty pass to Brandt from the Campbell River end.
Late in the frame Nanaimo potted in a pair from behind the Storm goal line. At 14:13, Connor Mowatt fired a shot from the corner that bounced off Matt Kostiw into the back off the net. Four minutes later, Will Koop alone in the slot fired in his own rebound off a sprawling Kostiw. The Storm goalie made a great initial stop sliding across his crease but the Nanaimo forward was able to redirect the rebound from behind the net. Koop, who was a late cut of the BCHL’s Nanaimo Clippers has made an impact with the top line in just two games with the Buc’s. At the first break the Storm found themselves behind 2-1.
Nanaimo’s final two goals came off the stick of former Saskatoon Blade, Nic Gomerich. His first at the 7:18 mark of the second period seem to take the air out of the building and provide his club more confidence. He added an empty-netter to close off the 4-1 score line and avenge Nanaimo’s previous 7-0 loss to the Storm.
Stone felt his team’s play was disappointing, “we came into the game with the expectation we would win without working our hardest.”
He also felt that the effort wasn’t there in their 5-3 victory earlier in the week over Westshore. For Stone, the solution is simple, “work ethic, tireless work ethic; that is the expectation every night and the rest will come.”
The Campbell River Storm remain atop of the VIJHL North Division with 10 points (5-1-0-0)
The Storm could be without two regulars for their next home date this Friday against Oceanside. Kostiw left the game after the first period against Nanaimo, after suffering back discomfort, and will be assessed by midweek. Braeden Cyra will be serving a 2 game suspension for a hit on Owen Dalman in the second period.
In other Storm news, goaltender Olivier Charest has moved up to Junior ‘A’ with the Bonnyville Pontiacs of the AJHL. Forward Keenan Scardina and goalie Adam DeRochie joined the club and were on the ice Friday; DeRochie taking over from Kostiw in the second period. Defenceman Mitch Popp was traded to the Nanaimo Buccaneers.