One To Forget

Midget AAA Storm call-up Eric Sorensen scored his first-ever Alberta Junior Hockey League goal; the attendance was over 1,400 – one of the larger crowds of the year – and the 50/50 was over $2,000.

If you take into consideration just those things it was a pretty good night at Revolution Place on Friday.

There was, however, this little matter of a hockey game . . . a contest only one team showed up for and that wasn't the Grande Prairie Storm.

It was the Storm's last game of 2016 and one of their worst-ever home losses – a 10-1 defeat at the hands of the Fort McMurray Oil Barons.

And, historically, perhaps not unpredictable. Home teams always seem to struggle when they host a game right after a long holiday layoff.

And struggle the Storm did on this night.

It was a team effort. No one could make a pass, take a pass or (between two goalies) make a big save.

And it new Storm coach Matt Keillor had to do some yelling between periods it was the likely the first time.

In his first five games behind the bench before the Christmas break the Storm won three to put some distance between themselves and the seventh place Drayton Valley Thunder in the Alberta Junior Hockey League's North Division.

That margin remains at five points, but the Thunder now have two games in hand. The Lloydminster Bobcats sit in eighth out of a playoff spot with 18 points, seven behind the Storm, but with five games in hand.

Things didn't start well for the Storm who found themselves down 3-0 before the game was 10 minutes old. They were behind 4-0 after 20 minutes and it got worse from there.

Sorensen's goal came at 1:54 of the second period after the MOB had opened the middle stanza with three goals in the first 1:51 to make it 7-0.

Sixteen different Fort Mac players got on the scoreboard led by two goals from Toby Shattler and singles off the sticks of Hayden Ursulak, Nicholas Nietubyc, Brandon Ralph, Ryan Cox, Shane Fraser, Jackson McKinstry, Will Conley and Brett Edwards.

Arik Weersink started for the Storm and allowed five goals on 15 shots while Xavier Burghardt made 23 saves on 28 shots. The Storm fired 23 at Eric Szudor in the MOB net.

The Storm head out on the road Wednesday for a game against the Sherwood Park Crusaders before returning home for games against the Spruce Groves Saints Jan. 6-7.