Storm Back In Fourth Place

After four goals in 3:18 on six shots to start the first period, Grande Prairie Novice Mi-Box player Sullivan Dika mentioned to his teammates, who were there compliments of the Grande Prairie Storm, that the game between the Storm and visiting Lloydminster Bobcats might be just like the game his team played in Falher earlier in the day.

In that minor hockey tilt there were 26 goals scored.

In the end the Alberta Junior Hockey League contest finished with just eight goals scored with most of those by the Storm in a 5-3 victory.

After the frantic start to the game it took over 30 minutes, and the 37th shot, for the fifth goal, but the tally that got the biggest sigh of relief from stand-in head coach Dennis Rix was an empty-netter by Storm team scoring leader Justin Bernier with 22 seconds remaining in the game.

Rix was in control of the team as head coach/assistant general manager Matt Keillor sat out the first of a three-game suspension handed down by the league after Friday's game when some fights broke out after the final whistle.

Storm forward Walker Cote and defenceman Tyrell Boucher were tagged with five-game suspensions for their involvement in the event.

Bernier's goal, his 25th of the season, assured the Storm of a big two points in the North Division standings.

The win has moved the Storm back into fourth place, a point up on the Sherwood Park Crusaders. The Cru fell 8-3 to the Calgary Canucks on Saturday. Grande Prairie has 45 points and Sherwood Park 44.

That opening flurry saw a goal by Lloyd's Zach Kaiser just 25 seconds in; followed by the 1-1 goal off the stick of Cruz Cote at 1:56; and then the Bobcats going ahead at 2:54 on a goal by Tucker Scantlebury; and ended when Sean Thomson found the net at 3:18 to tie it at 2-2 on the sixth shot of the game spurring young Dika to make the comment to his teammates.

It was 15:05 into the second, on the 37th shot of the game, that Storm rookie Zach Okabe found the puck after a scramble in front of the Bobcat net and made it 3-2. The teams went into the third tied at 3-3 after Daniel Hilsendager scored on the powerplay at 18:46.

The game winner, his second in two nights and second goal as a Storm, was scored by Jared Power at 12:45 of the third. Centre Connor Blake won the draw and got the puck to Power who one-timed the game winner past Bobcat goaltender Pierce Diamond, who was tested 29 times.

Bernier's open-netter came after a frantic push by the Bobcats in the final minutes. They were on the powerplay starting at 17:26 and pulled Diamond for the four-on-six advantage. They were all around the GP net, but couldn't beat netminder Charles-Olivier Levesque, who faced 27 shots while recording his 16th win.

The Storm head to Drayton Valley to take on the Thunder on Tuesday and then return home for games on the 26th (Okotoks Oilers) and 27th (Olds Grizzlys).