Gus Correale was the hero of the moment, but Nick Kulmanovsky was the star of the night, as the Grande Prairie Storm pulled off a huge 2-1 overtime win in Spruce Grove on Tuesday.
Correale tallied just 53 seconds into the extra period, as the Storm put an end to a three game losing streak by beating the first place team in the AJHL North Division. It was the second point of the night for Correale, who earlier had an assist on Sasha Laroque's powerplay marker, which knotted the game at 1-1 late in the first period.
The overtime winner would not have been possible, however, without some stellar netminding by Nick Kulmanovsky. The Fairbanks, Alaska native was extremely sharp in blocking 37 shots on the evening. Overall, the Saints outshot their visitors 38-23 through three periods—with the Storm getting the only shot that mattered in the OT.
Storm penalty killers also played an important role in the victory, keeping the Saints scoreless in four opportunities. Grande Prairie's powerplay ended up being 1-for-3.
About the only negative on the night would have to be the out-of-town scoreboard, which saw Whitecourt and Bonnyville also play in a “three point game”. The Wolverines won that one in a shoot out, 5-4. So, while the Storm pull into a third place tie with the Pontiacs at 59 points, they remain one back of the second place Wolverines. Grande Prairie is also now just four points behind first place Spruce Grove.
Storm now return home for a pair this weekend. The red-hot Fort McMurray Oil Barons come calling on Friday night, while Saturday it's Bonnyville visiting the Canada Games Arena. Both contests start at 7:30 pm.
– Story submitted by Don Whiteford of www.PeaceCountrySports.com