The Brooks Bandits are defending RBC Cup champions, but the Grande Prairie Storm have now won the season series between the two clubs.
Storm knocking off the Bandits 2-1 in a shoot out Friday night in front of 1304 fans at the Canada Games Arena to take two of three games between the two clubs this season. Bandits had won 4-1 on Showcase Weekend in September, while the Storm were 6-5 winners a month ago in Brooks.
After a couple of shaky starts against Whitecourt last weekend, Nick Kulmanovsky was back to his brilliant self in net for the Storm. He made 31 stops through 65 minutes of regulation and overtime, then shut down all three Bandit shooters he faced in the shoot out.
Coach Matt Hughes says it was a great bounce back game for his number one keeper.
“I was really happy for Nick. He was sharp all night long and shut down their big shooters.”
Toby Shattler opened the scoring for the Storm midway through the second period, seconds after linemate Dylan Thudium had hit the post. The lead lasted about six minutes, before the Bandits knotted the score at one apiece. It would stay that way through the third and overtime too.
In the shoot out, Dylan Thudium had the only goal, making a nice forehand to backhand deke on the Bandits goaltender. Kulmanovsky then slammed the door on the final two shooters to preserve the win.
Hughes says it was one of his club's better efforts of the season.
“Our defence was strong and the forwards did a great job of back checking all night. I don't think we allowed Brooks a clean odd-man rush the entire game.”
With the win, the Storm improve to 16-18-2. They'll look to finish off their home stand on a positive note Saturday night, as the Okotoks Oilers pay them a visit. Game time is 7:30 pm.
– Story by Don Whiteford of www.PeaceCountrySports.com.