Saints go Marching all over Storm

The Drayton Valley Thunder lost 4-1 to the Calgary Canucks.  Okay, that's about all the good news from Friday night for the Grande Prairie Storm.

If you want to avoid the bad news, it's probably best to quit reading now.

Storm setting at least one dubious team record in front of 1671 fans at the Canada Games Arena, in falling 7-1 to the visiting Spruce Grove Saints.  In the first period, the Saints peppered 20 shots on Nick Kulmanovsky, while the Storm failed to record a single shot on the Spruce Grove net.  It marked the first time the club had ever gone through a twenty minute period without registering a shot.

Overall, the final shots were 49-8 in favour of the visitors, with the single digit shot total also possibly being a new low for Grande Prairie.  Despite all this, the Storm were still in the game early in the third, when Jordan McTaggart's powerplay marker cut the deficit to 3-1.  Saints finally put the home side away with four goals in the final fifteen minutes on Kulmanovsky, who had single-handedly kept his club in the contest until that point.

Storm coach Matt Hughes was in no mood to sugar coat his thoughts on his club's play, afterwards.

“We may as well burn the game film, as there's not much to learn from this one.  We weren't just one step off the play all night, we were two steps off.”

Storm remain two points up on Drayton Valley for the final playoff spot in the AJHL North, but the Thunder still have three games in hand.  Hughes says that makes the match-up between them this coming Wednesday in Drayton a virtual must win.

“We've just got to put this game behind us and totally focus on the Thunder.  It's a huge road trip for us, with two games in Bonnyville to follow that one.”

Storm don't play at home again until Friday, January 31st, when the Saints make another visit to the Canada Games Arena.

Story by Don Whiteford of