In this 2019 file photo, a streaking Brax Klassen rifles a shot on Westshore goaltender Dalan Marleau before defenceman Tristan Jones can sprawl out a poke check. Marleau made that save, along with all but one other during the Wolves 2-1 win on the road on Friday against the Storm. File photo by Mike Davies – Campbell River Mirror

VIJHL Championship drought to end this season, says returning player

Forward Brax Klassen believes this is the Campbell River Storm’s year to win

The Campbell River Storm’s Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL) Championship drought will be broken this season, a returning player said.

The team announced on May 26 that forward Brax Klassen will be joining the Storm once again for the upcoming Junior B hockey season.

“This year will be the year to end that streak,” said Klassen. “The group of boys we have are like brothers and we want to do it for each other and for the fans more than ever.”

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The Storm have not won a VIJHL Championship for the past two seasons. In 2018/19, they made it all the way to the finals against the Victoria Cougars, but ultimately fell after five games, losing the series 4-1.

Last season, the team held off the Nanaimo Buccaneers in a tight first round battle to advance to the North Division Final against the Oceanside Generals. But before the series could start, the post-season was indefinitely postponed.

Klassen, 19, logged eight points (four goals and four assists) over 23 games in the 2019/20 regular season. The North Vancouver native then added an assist in six playoff games against the Buccs.

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The five-foot-10, 153-pound forward spent the majority of last season off the ice recovering from injuries. But he never left town and continued to support the team while working on his rehab, impressing Storm Coach and General Manager Lee Stone in the process.

“Watching Brax battle through two pretty serious injuries including a broken leg just to be able to help the boys down the stretch and playoffs; it was pretty incredible,” said Stone. “You just don’t see that kind of toughness anymore and that is no shot at anyone else. He stayed in Campbell River every day to support the boys and rehab.

“The kid blocked shots on the PK (penalty kill) in his first game back for crying out loud. Brax is the exact type of player we want our young guys to look up to and model their effort and compete after. I can’t wait to see his offensive game grow this season too.”

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Klassen was awarded the team’s Eddie Kingston Coaches Award last season for putting team above self.

He is expected to the at the Storm’s ID tournament currently scheduled for July 17-19.


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