When it comes to games between the Grande Prairie Storm and the Bonnyville Pontiacs this season, you can throw home ice advantage right out the window. Neither team has managed to post a win for their hometown fans.
Pontiacs sneaking out a 3-2 win Tuesday night at the Canada Games Arena, after the Storm had previously won all three games they played this season in Bonnyville. Storm never led in this one, fighting back from a 2-0 first period deficit to tie things up after forty minutes.
Storm coach Blaine Bablitz admits that a poor start really left the club rattled for the first half of the game.
“When they go in and score just 23 seconds into the game, it definitely put us back on our heels. It's tough to recover from that against a good team.”
After going 0-for-5 on the powerplay in the first thirty minutes, the Storm finally got things clicking with the man advantage. Mike Forsyth scored on a beautiful shot to the top corner to get Grande Prairie on the board 13 minutes into the second. Then, with just seconds remaining in the period, Sasha Laroque blasted one from the point that made it through a screen and into the back of the net.
Storm were unable to keep the momentum going in the third, however, as the Pontiacs controlled the majority of play and outshot the home side 13-4 in the final twenty minutes. Coach Bablitz says the winning goal, midway through the third, should not have happened.
“Right off the face off, there were defensive zone assignments missed. We broke down and the puck ended up in our net.”
With the victory, the Pontiacs pull into a tie with the Storm for third in the AJHL North—each with 56 points. The two clubs are also two back of the second place Whitecourt Wolverines.
Storm will look to get the first home ice win in this series between the clubs Wednesday night, as they meet again at 7:30.
– Story supplied by Don Whiteford of www.PeaceCountrySports.com