The Campbell River Storm has already locked up first place in the VIJHL North Division standings and is assured of finishing with their best record in more than a decade.
So with just seven games left on their regular season schedule, Head Coach Lee Stone plans to have his club concentrating on the finer points of the game in preparation for the playoffs.
“I think we really need to focus on playing better team defense,” he says, “You’re not going to win a provincial championship game 9-3 – you just don’t see those kind of scores. It’s going to be more like 2-1 or 3-2, and it’s often an ugly goal that wins it. Right now we give up too many high-end scoring chances, simply because the way we play in our d-zone or we’re not back-checking hard enough. Those are things we need to work on during these last seven games.”
The Storm (33-4-1-3) rolls into the home stretch this weekend with games against a pair of opponents locked in a battle for second place in the North Division standings. Campbell River plays host to the Nanaimo Buccaneers tonight at Rod Brind’Amour Arena, and then travels to Courtenay tomorrow to face-off against the Comox Valley Glacier Kings. Back-up goaltender Riley Welyk will make his fifth straight start in net for the Storm as starter Jesse Michel is still nursing a lower body injury. Welyk is 3-1 since coming over from the Westshore Wolves in a trade earlier this month.
The Annual Storm vs Alumni Game held last Sunday was a great success, attracting a crowd of nearly 400. The Alumni came out victorious, but the real winner was charity as over $2,000 was raised for the Cameryn’s Cause for Kids Society.