If you ask Campbell River Storm coach Lee Stone about it, he sees his team’s weekend split like a ‘glass half full’ kind of guy.
“We didn’t finish strong on Friday, and we didn’t start well on Sunday,” said Stone. “We played four good periods of hockey in between.”
The Storm shelled Lake Cowichan for 62 shots in Friday night’s 5-2 victory, with rookie defenceman Keran Ronan netting his first of the season and forward Mitchell Finner having three assists. But in the second night of a back-to-back, Campbell River gave up a pair of goals in the first 10 minutes of Sunday afternoon’s game, losing 6-2 to last season’s runner up, the Oceanside Generals.
Still, Stone is quick to point out that the fatigue of back to back games in a long season is only one factor.
“We were playing back to back, but they were as well,” Stone says. “They also played Wednesday, so it was three games in four nights for them. I thought we were very pedestrian in the first period. We got a lot better and improved drastically but, unfortunately, it was too little too late. We were down three- and four-to-one before we were able to get wind under ourselves.”
Still there were good signs: Ronan having a pair of points, and three rookies (Ronan and forwards Bronson, Babyak and Riley Langille) getting their first points of the season. The power play scored on consecutive nights as well, going two-for-nine over the course of the two games.
Stone is very optimistic in his demeanour and seems pleased his team faced such a stiff challenge, even if ending up on the short end of the stick. Still, The Storm were able to outshoot the Generals in the game 37-28.
“They are incredibly gifted,” said Stone when speaking about the Generals. “Very sound in the offensive zone and very forecheck heavy. They send three guys in hard, and they do the little things.”
Those ‘little things’ are things that Stone would like to see more from his team, as they head into their next game on Wednesday, Oct 13 versus the Saanich Predators before welcoming the Comox Valley Glacier Kings to the Rod Brind’Amour arena this weekend.
“With our group, we have talent from one to 25 on the roster. We believe whoever is up, whoever is getting their name called is more than capable of getting the job done. It just goes back to that intensity,” Stone said.