Comeau’s OT Goal Big One

Last Sunday Dolan Bjornson scored the biggest goal of the Grande Prairie Storm season potting the winning goal in the third period in a 4-3 victory over the Lloydminster Bobcats.

Friday night Cruz Cote got the biggest goal of the season for the Storm netting the game winner in the third period in a 7-5 GP defeat of the Sherwood Park Crusaders.

And Saturday in Revolution Place Dallas Comeau scored the biggest goal of the Storm season potting an overtime winner against the Crusaders that gave the Storm a 4-3 win.

Three huge goals in three games – all wins that have moved the Storm THAT CLOSE to their first Alberta Junior Hockey League playoff appearance since the spring of 2013.

The magic number is one. One more Storm win or one more Lloydminster loss means the Storm clinch that elusive playoff spot.

Saturday's OT win has moved the Storm into sole possession of sixth place in the North Division – two up on the Drayton Valley Thunder and three ahead of the Bobcats.

Both the Thunder (Camrose Kodiaks) and Bobcats (Fort McMurray Oil Barons) suffered 5-1 losses Saturday. The Thunder have four games remaining and the Storm and Bobcats two.

Grande Prairie hosts the Crusaders Friday and then finish up the regular season with a game against the Bonnyville Pontiacs on March 4.

All three teams could finish sixth, seventh or eighth.

Comeau's big OT winner came with 1:26 remaining in the three-on-three five-minute extra frame.

Teammate Parker Smyth stole the puck from a Crusader defender at the blueline to create a two-on-one and found Comeau, who deposited the puck into a wide open net.

“Comeau's goal in overtime to solidify the two points was well deserved,” said Storm head coach/general manager Matt Keillor. “He was on the puck all game.”

Comeau, a 19-year-old Calgary native, now has 12 goals to go along with his 18 assists and is the team's second-leading point getter.

He is second to team leader Michael Clarke, who had his second two-goal game in two nights.

His second came at 10:05 of the third to tie the game at 3-3.

“The guys on the bench fed off that tempo,” Keillor said of Clarke's 30th goal of the season, to go along with 29 assists.

Unlike Friday when they fell behind 5-2 at one point before tying the game, the Crusaders had a quick start in this one going ahead 2-0 by the halfway point of the first period.

“We knew Sherwood Park was going to play hard tonight and we knew it was going to be tough to match their energy,” said Keillor, who watched his team win three in a row for the second time this year and the first time since the first month of the season. “It's not often this team can come back from deficits, but their persistence and positive energy paid off.”

It wasn't just offence that accounted for the victory. Goaltender Arik Weersink, including a game-saving save in the final minute, was stellar again and more than one player sacrificed a body part to get in front of a shot.

“Walker Cote and Parker Smyth had two huge blocked shots to send it to overtime,” said Keillor. “Those are the moments you need to win games at this time of the year.”

The Crusaders led 2-1 after the first and 3-2 going into the third.

Tyrell Boucher, his first of the season on the powerplay in the first, also scored for the Storm while Chase Torontow, Alex Rotundo and Ben Sowa scored for the Crusaders. Weersink faced 22 shots while the Storm fired 40 at Brandon Vogel at the other end.

“It was a good team win,” said Keillor. “We will take it, have a good day off and get back to work on Monday.”