It took them two periods to get it figured out, but once they did the Grande Prairie Storm put on a pretty good show for 555 spectators in Alberta Junior Hockey League exhibition play in the Canada Games Arena Friday night.
But the nice comeback in the final frame was somewhat wasted when the Whitecourt Wolverines scored at 2:06 of a three-on-three overtime to pull out a 5-4 win in their first-ever AJHL action.
Down 1-0 after the first period and 3-0 heading into the third the Storm erupted for four goals in a span of just under 15 minutes to tie the game at 4-4 and force the OT.
Veteran Gus Correale led the way with two goals – back to back at 12:21 and then the tying goal at 19:05. Adam Danyluk had gotten the Storm on the board and made it 3-1 at 4:09 of the third and Taylor Cote made it 4-3 at 10:20 on the powerplay.
The Wolverines scored two five-on-three powerplay goals – one by Jerome Raymond and the other off the stick of Ryan Berlin. Robby Jang and Dalten Olsen scored the other regulation time goals while Berlin got the winner – a shot that fluttered, but found its way past Storm goalie David Readman.
The Storm held a lopsided 31-16 shots on goal, but ran into some stellar netminding in the form of Chris Drott. The Storm outshot the Wolverines 14-4 in the third period. Readman looked at eight shots during his 30-plus minutes of action while Storm veteran Curtis Skip, who started the game, had to handle the same number allowing one goal.
Another GP nemesis was its powerplay. The Storm scored once on nine chances and didn’t get a shot on goal in the first while enjoying a five-on-three advantage. Whitecourt had seven PPs netting two goals with the two-man advantage.
The Storm didn’t dress major junior defenceman Jeremy Barriault, veterans Adam Boytinck and Spencer Mault; high scoring recruit Marc Drapeau; highly touted rookie Dylan Thudium; or veteran netminder Nick Kulmanovsky, but those players are likely to get into the lineup with a few others who sat last night when the Storm head to Edson to take on the Drayton Valley Thunder in the annual Tiggo Cup Sunday at 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday the Storm head to Whitecourt for a return date with the Wolverines and then next weekend host the Prince George Spruce Kings Friday (7:30 p.m. Games Arena) and then travel to Prince George for a game on Sept. 1.