Just call them the “Comeback Kids”. Or maybe that should be the “Shoot Out Kids.”
Either would be accurate, after the Storm rallied from an early 3-0 deficit to down the Canmore Eagles 4-3 in a shoot out, in front of 1479 fans at the Canada Games Arena Saturday night. It was the second straight night the Storm had gone into a shoot out…and the second straight time they'd emerged victorious, having beaten Olds 3-2 on Friday.
Landon Gross had a beautiful deke to score the shoot out winner. Sam Lawson also had a nice deke of his own to tie up the shoot out on Grande Prairie's third shot, after the Eagles had taken a 1-0 lead in the breakaway competition one shot earlier.
For once, the Storm's slumbering powerplay played an important role in keying the comeback. Ryan Baskerville, with a howitzer under the crossbar, and Nathan Mortlock, with a blast through traffic, both scored on a powerplay that went 2-for-5 on the night. Chase Thudium had the lone even strength goal for the home side, converting on a scramble in front of the Eagles net in the second period.
Jacob Suppes got his first start in net and almost didn't make it out of the opening period. The Eagles scored all three of their goals in the first twelve minutes of the game, as the Storm came out of the gate very flat.
Coach Matt Hughes says he momentarily thought of pulling Suppes, but is glad he reconsidered.
“Jake hasn't played in a month and looked a bit rusty to start. He got better as the night went on and made some key saves late in the third period to force the overtime.”
The back-to-back wins were the first time the Storm had managed that feat since the opening two games of the season. Coach Hughes says getting back over the 500 mark, at 8-7-1, is huge.
“We definitely needed all four points from this weekend to keep pace with the rest of the North Division. Last night's (Friday's) game wasn't our best, but we much better in this contest against Canmore.”
Storm now head out on a tough road trip, which sees them play three games in four nights. They're in Fort McMurray on Wednesday, followed by a pair in Lloydminster on Friday and Saturday.
– Story by Don Whiteford of www.PeaceCountrySports.com.
– Picture by Logan Clow of the Grande Prairie Daily Herald Tribune.