There is a reason the Okotoks Oilers are the No. 2 ranked Junior A team in Canada.
They're a pretty good hockey club . . . and the Grande Prairie Storm found that out on Friday night in Revolution Place Arena.
The Alberta Junior Hockey League South Division Oilers have the best record in the AJHL at 38-6-2 and have assured themselves of finishing no lower than second in the South following Friday's 4-0 win over the Storm.
The Oilers outshot the Storm 38-18 and the final score could have been much worse if not for Storm goaltender Charles-Olivier Levesque, who was named the Home Star of the game.
A good portion of those shots came while the Storm were killing penalties – 13 in all over the course of the game including a couple of times when they were down five-on-three. The Storm got just four chances on the powerplay.
Okotoks scored twice with the man advantage including the only goal of the first – off the stick of Carter Huber at 2:09 and the only goal of the third from Austin Wong to make it 4-0 at 11:53. Kyle Gordon and Hoon Kim scored even-strength goals for the Oilers in the second.
Okotoks netminder Riley Morris missed out on his fifth shutout of the season after he was crunched by Storm forward Logan Moon in a head-on collision with 3:48 to go in the third after the two raced for a puck just inside the Okotoks blueline. Morris was helped off the ice, very wobbly, but was still credited with the win stopping 18 shots. Reliever Ben Howard looked at just two.
The game was the final of three Storm head coach/assistant general manager Matt Keillor had to sit out after being suspended following a post final-whistle melee in a game last Friday against the Calgary Mustangs. Storm players Walker Cote and Tyrell Boucher were handed five-game suspensions from the incident.
Assistant coach Dennis Rix filled in as the head guy for those three games and hands the Storm reins back to Keillor after winning twice and losing once.
The Storm loss, combined with the Sherwood Park Crusader 4-1 win over the Olds Grizzlys Friday moves the Cru to within one point of the Storm for fourth place in the North Division. The Storm have 47 points and the Crusaders 46. It was just the seventh home loss of the season compared to 14 wins.
Next game for the Storm is against those Grizzlys on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in Revolution Arena.