By LOGAN CLOW
It’s decision-making time for the Grande Prairie Junior A Storm.
Ahead of the team’s pre-season game Tuesday night at home against the Prince George Spruce Kings, Storm head coach Matt Keillor, GM Mark Bomersback and the rest of the coaching staff are sitting down to evaluate the team’s training camp.
Over the weekend, 48 players attended the team’s training camp, including returnees Walker Cote, Tyrell Boucher, Michael Clark, Parker Smyth, Landon Vollman, Cruz Cote, Logan Mazerolle, Connor Blake and Alex Lindstrom. There were also several local players skating, such as Daniel Graber, Damon Kramer, Bailey Tokarz (Peace River), Dawson Blanchette, Ty Lawrence, Jeremy Niven and Darian Fuller.
Camp concluded with the annual Brian Nash Memorial Game Sunday afternoon at Revolution Place.
“I think so far, overall, it’s gone very well. The veterans came back in great shape and the new recruits, the same for them, they look great as well. It’s nothing but positive thoughts so far,” said Bomersback.
“I think on the back end there’s definitely some competition there. Other than that, forward-wise, there’s definitely a big competition there on where guys are going to play.
“We don’t want guys coming to camp feeling comfortable. I think, when you at the veterans and their thoughts and they see some of these top-end rookies coming in, it’s going to push them to be better and work hard and be in the line-up, and play an important role as well.”
Head coach Matt Keillor said the camp was competitive and offered “a little bit of everything”.
“We’re not just picking a team, we’re picking lines as well and finding which guys have chemistry together. It’s not going to be the same team as we were last year or in years past. Our expectations are a lot higher this year…,” said Keillor.
“I don’t want us to be a sit back and be a defensive-style team. We want to play on offence and play in the other team’s zone.”
Tuesday, the Storm host the Spruce Kings at 7:30 p.m. at Revolution Place. The two teams will play again in Prince George on Sept. 2.
Bomersback said the team plans on icing “the best look possible” on Tuesday. He added he expects the Spruce Kings to ice a competitive team because they had their training camp over a week ago.
By some time next week, the Storm are expected to have their roster finalized.
“I think we’re going to have more skill (this year), so I think we’ll score more goals. I think we’ve upgraded our speed and physical play on the backend and definitely upgraded the goaltending with (Charles-Olivier Levesque),” said Bomersback, of the upcoming season.