By LOGAN CLOW
After a month of being sidelined with an injury, the Grande Prairie Storm’s No. 1 centre will make his return to the line-up on Wednesday night.
Edouard Michaud, 20, was leading the Storm with 13 goals and eight assists – averaging more than a point per game – when he went down with a shoulder injury in mid-October.
Wednesday, after missing the last eight games with a separated shoulder, Michaud makes his return at home against the Sherwood Park Crusaders.
“(Edouard) will slot right back in as our No. 1 centre. We had Jonothan Hader in that spot and he was doing quite well there, but to add a player like Edouard back in the line-up… he was leading the league when he went out with injury and had 1.6 points per game, so to get that in any line-up is a big boost,” said Dennis Rix, assistant coach for the Storm.
Despite playing without Michaud, the Storm earned points in seven of the eight games and won six of them.
“That’s just a testament to our depth. Our second line of Connor Blake, Dallas Comeau and Noah Walters are putting up some pretty consistent points as well, and our d-men and goalie are doing a good job of keeping the puck out of the net, so it’s a good show of our depth and a good showing that if we lose possibly one of the best players in the league for a few games, you can still pick up points and collect wins.”
Forward Justin Bernier now leads the Storm with 11 goals and 20 assists. That puts him at No. 4 in league scoring. Comeau is second in team scoring, and seventh in the league, with five goals and 22 assists.
Wednesday’s game marks the first meeting of the season between the Storm and Crusaders.
The Storm are fourth in the AJHL’s North Division with a 12-6-3 record.
The Crusaders are sixth in the division with a 9-12-1 record.
In addition to being strong offensively this season – ranked fifth in the AJHL with 82 goals – the Storm have also posted strong special teams stats. The Storm have the league’s fifth-ranked powerplay and second-ranked penalty kill.
“We definitely have some skilled guys on our powerplay, which obviously helps. We have some good shooters and good playmakers there. I think we just have a really good, solid structure on our powerplay where we’re able to find open lanes and open seams and be able to put pucks in,” said Rix.
“As far as our PK, we just have a bunch of guys who will go out there and work as hard as they can and block shots and sacrifice (their body), and do as much as they can and whatever they need to keep the puck out of the net.”
Wednesday’s game is at Revolution Place at 7:30 p.m.