The Campbell River Storm’s 19th season came to a close on Sunday morning at the Cyclone Taylor Cup in Esquimalt.
They weren’t playing for gold as they had hoped, but they were up for a medal.
A convincing 8-4 win over the Mission City Outlaws ensured they would take home a bronze medal. Storm Head Coach Lee Stone felt it was his team’s best performance of the tournament. “I’m really proud of the boys, the first three games didn’t go as we expected,” he said. “I thought you could see what we could do in the second and third against Hundred Mile and we continued that today.”
The Storm may have been disappointed to be playing in the bronze medal game but they came out strong in the first and opened a 2-0 lead on goals from Dylan McCann and Gage Colpron. The captain’s final Junior hockey goal was a beauty; after winning an offensive zone faceoff, he pushed the puck forward and roofed it.
“That’s what Gage does,” teammate Darryl Senholt said between periods. “That’s like getting up in the morning for him.”
Mission, a team renowned for come backs, tied the game before the end of the first period.
The final 40, though, belonged to the Storm who outshot the Outlaws in the final two frames 31-18.
In the second, d-men and their huge point shots played a factor on the next two Storm goals.
Alex Rosolowsky scored on a redirected Braeden Cyra point blast and Josh Coblenz put one past Jason Sandhu on a tip from an Austin Steger shot.
Before the interval, Christian Brandt, skating through the slot, put a backhand in the top corner for his first of the morning.
Brandt picked up his second early in the third once again from the slot, this time on the forehand. Carter Hikichi scored Campbell River’s seventh goal on a soft shot from the blue line.
As he did a year earlier, Reece Costain scored the final goal of the Storm season on a breakaway, sealing the 8-4 victory.
As the season comes to a close, questions about the future of the Head Coach and General Manager are on the mind of many Storm fans.
Despite receiving offers, Stone says, “I have full intentions on being back, Campbell River has been great to me. We’ll see what happens but at this point, I’m fully invested in being part of the Storm again.”
The 100 Mile House Wranglers were crowned the 2016 BC Champions, defeating the Victoria Cougars 5-4 in a thriller. They head to the Western Canadians later this week in Regina.