Charles-Olivier Levesque deserved better.
When you face 53 shots and lose by just one goal that's a heartbreaker.
That's what happened to the Grande Prairie Storm netminder, a native of Quebec, in Bonnyville Tuesday in a 3-2 loss to the hometown Pontiacs.
The fact the winning goal came with just 30 seconds remaining in regulation time makes it even more disappointing for the 20-year-old who had spent some time in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League before venturing to western Canada.
He is now 0-3 in the Alberta Junior Hockey League and each loss has been by just one goal.
“He was hands down our best player from start to finish,” said Storm head coach/assistant general manager Matt Keillor of his netminder. “He battled extremely hard for us and kept us in it.”
The winning goal was the eighth Pontiac man advantage of the game and their second PP tally. The Storm scored once after four powerplays.
Three games into the season two Storm rookies find themselves at the top on the offensive end of things.
Two of them recorded their fourth points Monday.
Noah Walters scored in the first period for his second goal and fourth point of the season and Zachary Okabe, with his first-ever Junior A goal, got one on the powerplay in the second.
Walters, Okabe, Dallas Comeau and Connor Blake (who earned assists on the Walters goal) lead the team with four points each.
The Storm had led 1-0 after the first and 2-1 going into the third.
The winning goal at 19:30 of the final frame was scored by Derek Brown with Storm forward Parker Smyth showering after taking a five-minute high sticking major and game misconduct at 17:22. P.J. Marrocco, on the PP, had scored in the second for the Pontiacs to tie the game at 1-1 and then did it again 3:49 into the third to knot it at 2-2.
The middle period was an interesting one with 14 minors (eight to the Storm), two 10-minute misconducts and two fighting majors handed out. The tilt involved Storm captain Landon Vollman and Bonnyville's Tucker Evans.
“I can't sugar coat this one,” said Keillor. “We killed over 15 minutes of penalties in the third period. I was very disappointed in the discipline tonight.
“Penalties at bad times . . . at the end of the second period and then two five minute majors in the third was unacceptable. You aren't going to win games, especially in Bonnyville, when you're short a man for an entire period.”
The Storm fired 29 shots at Pontiacs netminder Sandro Silvestre.
The team now heads east for a game against the Lloydminster Bobcats on Wednesday night looking before heading home for games against the Drayton Valley Thunder Saturday (7:30 p.m.) and Sunday (2 p.m.) in Revolution Arena.
“We're going into our fourth game in six nights,” said Keillor. “This is a tough schedule to start a season – there is no denying that. But good teams find a way, it's that simple.”
The Bobcats are 1-1 after two games and two points up on the seventh place Storm in sixth place in the North Division. The Sherwood Park Crusaders, Spruce Grove Saints, Fort McMurray Oil Barons and Pontiacs are all 2-0 in the North Division in the early going.