After a cruising along with six wins in seven games the Grande Prairie Storm have hit a bit of a bump in the road.
A 6-3 loss to the Thunder in Drayton Valley on Monday was the team's third loss in a row and second on a four-game road venture that winds up this weekend with games in Sherwood Park (Crusaders) and Spruce Grove (Saints)
The good news is the last time the team lost three in a row, to start the season, they rebounded to win 13 of 19 that put them in a battle among the best teams in the league.
Grande Prairie still has a good grip on fourth with 29 points – eight back of the third place Saints and seven up on the sixth place Crusaders – in the Alberta Junior Hockey League North Division.
The Thunder are in eighth, 17 back of the Storm, winning just their six game Monday, to go along with 21 losses, on the season.
They had to come from behind to do it.
The Storm jumped out to a 2-0 first period lead on powerplay goals by Justin Bernier and Edouard Michaud, but found themselves down 3-2 after 40 minutes.
The killer, a goal that got the Thunder back in the game, was a shorthanded tally off the stick of Dryden Wurst just 13 seconds into the second period. Trevor Ayre tied it at 2-2 at 2:57 to keep the momentum going and then Jesse Pomeroy, on the powerplay, put Drayton up 3-2 at 14:25.
Ayre got the game winner at 1:42 of the third.
Zach Okabe, the highest scoring rookie in the league in sixth place in league scoring with 30 points, scored his ninth of the season at 9:10 to make it interesting at 3-2, but a goal by Steve Senese on the powerplay at 10:54 restored the two-goal lead. Ethan Green salted it away with the Thunder sixth goal at 17:44.
The trio of Bernier, Michaud and Okabe carried the load for the Storm Monday with eight points – three each for Michaud and Okabe.
Rookie goaltender Ethan Slobodzian, who started the season with four straight wins, suffered his second loss in a row facing 42 shots. The Storm fired 30 pucks at Tymen Edelkoort III at the other end.
The Friday game in Sherwood Park will be the third in a week between the two teams. Saturday the Storm head Spruce Grove and then return home for games Nov. 30 and Dec. 1against the Crusaders.