After 20 minutes of the game between the Grande Prairie Storm and Sherwood Park Crusaders in Revolution Arena Friday it was probably a toss-up as to who was most nervous – the Storm players or assistant coach Dennis Rix.
Down 2-0 to a team that is stalking them for fourth place in the Alberta Junior Hockey League the Storm players were no doubt a little worried this one might be getting away on them.
Ditto for Rix, who had a one-game crack at being the big boss while head coach/assistant general manager Matt Keillor serves as a guest coach at the World Junior A Challenge Western Canada team trials in Calgary.
In the end any first intermission worries were for naught as the Storm roared back for a 6-2 win before 1,376 admirers in Rev Arena.
It was the second Storm win in a row (both against the Crusaders) after a five-game losing streak, including four in a row on the road.
Six different Storm players – Jonathan Harder, Parker Smyth, Justin Bernier, Cruz Cote, Edouard Michaud and Eric Sorensen – scored for the Storm helping them rebound to tie the game at twos after 40 minutes and dominate the third with four goals.
Arjun Atwal and Dylan Stewart scored for the Crusaders, who were down a handful of regulars out with injury. Three affiliated players suited up for Sherwood Park on Friday.
After the forgetable first when they were outshot 10-8 the Storm took over the game outshooting the Cru 18-5 in the second. Both teams had 11 shots in the third.
Charles-Olivier Levesque tended the GP pipes while Joshua Dechaine was in the SP net.
The win stretches the fourth place Storm lead over Crusaders and Bonnyville Pontiacs to seven points.
They get a week over before a home-and-home with the Whitecourt Wolverines – Friday in Whitecourt and Saturday (7:30 p.m.) in Grande Prairie.