The Campbell River Storm are four for four to start the season. On the weekend, before the hometown faithful, they dispatched the Oceanside Generals 4-1, then the Saanich Braves 5-1.
General Manager and Head Coach Lee Stone was pleased with the team’s effort on Saturday against Saanich, “This was our best sixty minute performance of the season. We needed to make some improvements and we certainly did.”
The Braves came into the game tied for first in the South Division. Stone was complimentary, “Saanich is a very good team, they work hard, they compete; they have a veteran group”.
Loose pucks and uncontrolled rebounds played a big factor in the outcome.
Early in the first period, newly arrived Storm goalie Olivier Charest gave up a rebound off a hot shot from Evan Horvath and Jordan Parmar punched in the rebound. Campbell River found themselves trailing in a game for the first time this season.
The Saanich lead was short-lived when captain Gage Colpron fired a rebound past netminder Riley Mathieson.
Colin Blake took a big hit at centre ice but was able to feed the puck to speedster Braeden Cyra who split the defence. His shot went off Mathieson and straight to Colpron who slid the puck along the ice and into the open side.
Before the end of the frame, Alex Rosolowsky redirected a point blast from Trevor Bottomley to make it 2-1. At that point the Storm never looked back.
Six minutes into the second period Josh Coblenz pounced on a puck lying on the goal line after Blake set up Colpron at the side of the net. Cyra and Kobe Oishi closed out the scoring in the third.
Blake played his best game of the season collecting 3 assists and drawing several penalties. His effectiveness on the fore check and patience with the puck earned him first star honours.
It was the debut for Charest, who was acquired from the Comox Valley Glaciers Kings last week. The 20 year old goalie from Brossard, Quebec, was part of the deal that saw defenceman Thor Rosback start the season with the Yetis.
The Storm improved on their league leading penalty kill, stopping all four Saanich power plays.
Heading into week three they have allowed just 1 goal in 29 attempts and have scored twice a man short.
On Friday against Oceanside, the Storm skated to a 4-1 win on a two goal performance from Colpron while Oishi and Christian Brandt added singles. Colpron (13 points) and Cyra (11 points) are the leading scorers in the VIJHL.
Next action for the Storm is Wednesday on the road against the winless Westshore Wolves. On Friday, the Nanaimo Buccaneers return to Rod Brind’Amour Arena.