Big Weekend Ahead


Daily Herald-Tribune

In 45 games this season, the Grande Prairie Storm have never won more than two consecutive games.

Friday, the junior A Storm (12-27-6) will have a chance to change those misfortunes when they kick off their three-game road trip against the Bonnyville Pontiacs (26-12-4).

No doubt confidence is higher than normal for the Storm, who are coming off a victory over the Whitecourt Wolverines – the second place team overall in the AJHL – as well as the Lloydminster Bobcats last Friday at home.

The Pontiacs, who are ranked fourth in the AJHL, are coming off a 7-4 victory over the Sherwood Park Crusaders Wednesday night. The team is coached by Adam Manah – the former head coach of the Ernie’s Sports Experts Midget AAA Storm. Manah’s replacement with the midget Storm team was none other than Matt Keillor, who is now head coach and GM of the Storm.

Both the Storm and Pontiacs play again Saturday night and then the Storm wrap up their road trip with a Sunday afternoon game against the Crusaders (25-17-1).

The Storm are 0-3 against the Pontiacs this season and 0-2 against the Crusaders.

Shorthanded, both the Pontiacs and Crusaders are dangerous as they lead the league with 11 and 10 shorthanded goals, respectively.

Storm forward Michael Clarke was named the AJHL Player of the Week earlier this week. In the team’s two wins, Clarke had three goals and three assists. He’s also eighth in league scoring with 23 goals and 25 assists.

The schedule after this weekend doesn’t get any easier for the Storm.

After this weekend, they next embark on another three-game road trip against the Canmore Eagles, Olds Grizzlys and Okotoks Oilers Feb. 3-5.

Their next home games are Feb. 10-11 against the Fort McMurray Oil Barons.