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It’s Groundhog Day!

It's fitting that Saturday was Groundhog Day, as just like the movie of the same name, the Grande Prairie Storm continue to keep repeating the same script over and over again.  For the fourth straight home game the Storm surrendered a goal on the very first shot of the game, leading to negative results.It's fitting that Saturday was Groundhog Day, as just like the movie of the same name, the Grande Prairie Storm continue to keep repeating the same script over and over again.  For the fourth straight home game the Storm surrendered a goal on the very first shot of the game, leading to negative results.

Just like they did in their two visits to the Canada Games Arena a couple weeks back, the Bonnyville Pontiacs made it 1-0 before many in the crowd of 1943 had even found their seats.  With the early lead, the Pontiacs then reverted to an effective, if not terribly exciting, defensive game plan and skated to a 2-1 win.

Storm coach and general manager Blaine Bablitz was left shaking his head afterwards.  As Bablitz says, he can't understand his club's continual poor starts.

“We preach to the boys that you have to play a full 60 minutes.  Yet once again, we didn't show up ready to play.  When you find yourself down an early goal, it's hard to establish any sort of dominance over your opponent.”

To the Storm's credit, they fought back hard after the Pontiacs made it 2-0 late in the second period.  Tyler Haiste scored a powerplay goal on a screen shot with just 0.4 seconds left in the middle period to give the home side a lift heading into the final frame.  Storm then outshot Bonnyville 13-1 in the last 20 minutes, but couldn't find the equalizer.  Coach Bablitz liked the effort at the end, but wasn't about to give his club too much credit.

“It's hard to be positive any time you lose.  No offense to the Pontiacs, but we shouldn't lose three straight to them in our own barn.”

Ironically, Gande Prairie won all three games played in Bonnyville this season, but the Pontiacs then returned the favour in the Swan City.  The win also lifted the Pontiacs into a three-way tie with the Storm and Fort McMurray Oil Barons for third place in the ultra-competitive AJHL North.  The Oil Barons won on Saturday, as did the Whitecourt Wolverines, who leap-frogged the pack to sit alone in second place by one point over the threesome.

Storm now head out on their final southern road trip of the season this coming week, playing three games over a four-night span.  They begin the trip Wednesday in Olds, before moving on to Brooks on Friday and Drumheller on Saturday.

– Story submitted by Don Whiteford of www.PeaceCountrySports.comArena a couple weeks back, the Bonnyville Pontiacs made it 1-0 before many in the crowd of 1943 had even found their seats.  With the early lead, the Pontiacs then reverted to an effective, if not terribly exciting, defensive game plan and skated to a 2-1 win.

Storm coach and general manager Blaine Bablitz was left shaking his head afterwards.  As Bablitz says, he can't understand his club's continual poor starts.

“We preach to the boys that you have to play a full 60 minutes.  Yet once again, we didn't show up ready to play.  When you find yourself down an early goal, it's hard to establish any sort of dominance over your opponent.”

To the Storm's credit, they fought back hard after the Pontiacs made it 2-0 late in the second period.  Tyler Haiste scored a powerplay goal on a screen shot with just 0.4 seconds left in the middle period to give the home side a lift heading into the final frame.  Storm then outshot Bonnyville 13-1 in the last 20 minutes, but couldn't find the equalizer.  Coach Bablitz liked the effort at the end, but wasn't about to give his club too much credit.

“It's hard to be positive any time you lose.  No offense to the Pontiacs, but we shouldn't lose three straight to them in our own barn.”

Ironically, Gande Prairie won all three games played in Bonnyville this season, but the Pontiacs them returned the favour in the Swan City.  The win also lifted the Pontiacs into a three-way tie with the Storm and Fort McMurray Oil Barons for third place in the ultra-competitive AJHL North.  The Oil Barons win on Saturday, as did the Whitecourt Wolverines, who leap-frogged the pack to sit alone in second place by one point over the threesome.

Storm now head out on their final southern road trip of the season this coming week, playing three games over a four-night span.  They begin the trip Wednesday in Olds, before moving on to Brooks on Friday and Drumheller on Saturday.

– Story submitted by Don Whiteford of www.PeaceCountrySports.com

 

It's fitting that Saturday was Groundhog Day, as just like the movie of the same name, the Grande Prairie Storm continue to keep repeating the same script over and over again.  For the fourth straight home game the Storm surrendered a goal on the very first shot of the game, leading to negative results.

Just like they did in their two visits to the Canada Games Arena a couple weeks back, the Bonnyville Pontiacs made it 1-0 before many in the crowd of 1943 had even found their seats.  With the early lead, the Pontiacs then reverted to an effective, if not terribly exciting, defensive game plan and skated to a 2-1 win.

Storm coach and general manager Blaine Bablitz was left shaking his head afterwards.  As Bablitz says, he can't understand his club's continual poor starts.

“We preach to the boys that you have to play a full 60 minutes.  Yet once again, we didn't show up ready to play.  When you find yourself down an early goal, it's hard to establish any sort of dominance over your opponent.”

To the Storm's credit, they fought back hard after the Pontiacs made it 2-0 late in the second period.  Tyler Haiste scored a powerplay goal on a screen shot with just 0.4 seconds left in the middle period to give the home side a lift heading into the final frame.  Storm then outshot Bonnyville 13-1 in the last 20 minutes, but couldn't find the equalizer.  Coach Bablitz liked the effort at the end, but wasn't about to give his club too much credit.