The Campbell River Storm kicked off 2016 with a pair of victories. On Saturday night in Parksville, they doubled the Generals 6-3, before edging the Glacier Kings on Sunday, 4-3, at Rod Brind’Amour Arena.
The story of the weekend was the emergence of the power play. The Storm converted on four of their six opportunities. General Manager and Head Coach, Lee Stone commenting on its success said, “The power play is hot, we scored when we needed to,” he added, “We have been working pretty hard on it, the talent is there, we’re starting to play within the structure and the success is coming.”
Keenan Scardina, back in the line-up after suffering an injury in November, played a big role in both wins. He was first star on Saturday and opened the scoring on Sunday with a well-placed shot from the face-off circle.
The Storm made it 2-0 at 17:02 of the first period. Along the half wall, Alex Rosolowsky spotted Gage Colpron streaking in from the blue line and after a beautiful move past a defender buried the puck from the high slot. It was the captain’s 103rd career goal with Campbell River.
The Glacier Kings would get one back before the period ended when Justin Mirabelli pounced on a turnover deep in the Storm end. The visitors would tie it up midway through the second period on a Liam Nijhoff goal.
Late in the second, Braeden Cyra scored the first of his two power play goals on a beautiful passing play with Kobe Oishi. The 20 year old from Kelowna found himself on the doorstep and fired a shot just under the crossbar past a sprawling Marcus Gloss.
The Yeti’s wouldn’t go away though and tied the game at three before the end of forty minutes.
A minute into the third period, Cyra scored what turned out to be the game winner, set up by Trevor Bottomley and Carter Hikichi.
With the King’s net empty and time running down, Matt Kostiw made his best stop of the afternoon. Jake McKenzie and Grayden McInnes found themselves in behind the Storm defence with the puck. McKenzie fired a rocket from the low slot at what appeared to be a wide open net but Kostiw was able to get across and make the stop.
Cyra, Bottomley and Scardina were selected as the stars of the game.
The Storm extended their lead in the North Division to 16 points over the Nanaimo Buccaneers. Next game at the Brindy is Friday night against the Generals.