It took 64 days and 13 games . . . but who's counting?
The Grande Prairie Storm's second road win was one of the biggest victories of the season and what really counts is they now have a three-point spread on the seventh place Drayton Valley Thunder and are five up on the eighth place Lloydminster Bobcats.
Road win No. 2 came Saturday night in Drayton Valley – a 3-2 victory. It was the team's first on the road since Oct. 13 when they defeated the Calgary Mustangs 6-4 in the southern Alberta city.
It was also new Storm coach/general manager Matt Keillor's first win on the road since taking over the club Dec. 8. In four games behind the bench Keillor is 2-2.
On Saturday Keillor watched his club get off to one of their better starts of the season.
They took a 3-0 lead in the first thanks in big part to two goals off the stick of Dolan Bjornson – his seventh and eighth of the season.
“We were opportunistic in the first period and Bjornson did a great job getting to the net,” said Keillor.
The Storm made it 3-0 on the powerplay at 15:53 when defenceman Carter Wolski scored his second of the season.
With 40 seconds to go in the opening frame the Thunder got on the board when Michael Doneff scored.
“That late goal in the first gave Drayton Valley some momentum,” said Keillor.
They carried that momentum into the second and made it interesting when Matt Benko scored on the PP to make it 3-2.
Things got really exciting in the final couple of minutes of the game with a Storm player in the penalty box and the goalie pulled to give the Thunder a six-on-four. But the Storm held the fort and, once again led by goaltender Arik Weerskink, skated off with the win.
“Weersink was a difference-maker once gain for us and both him and our penalty killing solidified the win with a huge kill to end the third,” said Keillor.
Weersink had to look down 40 Thunder shots while the Storm fired 29 at Parker Tobin at the other end.
The Thunder had seven PP chances and the Storm six.
The two teams battle again Sunday in Drayton Valley.
“The game had a playoff feel – a couple of fights, some PP goals and some bruises,” said Keillor.
The Storm finish off the month with a home game next Friday against the Fort McMurray Oil Barons.