Storm Down 2-0 In Semi-final

There is hope!

That has to be the Grande Prairie Storm mantra after a pair of losses to open an Alberta Junior Hockey League North Division semi-final against the Spruce Grove Saints.

It might not have seemed like it after an 8-0 defeat at the hands of the Saints in the series opener on Friday, but a 5-2 loss Saturday in Game 2 has to give the GP club confidence they can hang with the Saints . . . especially considering the next two games are in Grande Prairie.

Saturday they hung with the North Division regular season champions for two periods trading goals in the first and falling behind just 3-2 after 40 minutes.

An unassisted goal by league scoring champion and MVP Chris Van Os-Shaw with just 2:35 remaining in the second ended up being the game winner.

Van Os-Shaw, named the Home Star Of The Game, also assisted on the first goal of the game – off the stick of Tanner Hickey 3:05 into the first. The Storm tied it on a goal by 17-year-old rookie Bryce Osepchuk, who played Midget AAA in Fort Saskatchewan this season, at 8:32.

Spruce Grove went up 2-1 at 4:49 of the second on a goal by Parker Saretsky, but the Storm responded on a goal by Jared Power to tie it at 2-2 at 7:17.

Os-Shaw then got his game-winner just over 10 minutes later and the Saints rounded it out with goals by Nick Leyer, on the powerplay, and Damon Zimmer.

There were only seven powerplay advantages in the game – four going to Storm and three to the Saints.

Veteran Charles-Olivier Levesque got his first start in almost a month, after sitting because of an injury, and faced 40 shots. The Storm shot 25 pucks at Nolan Kent at the other end.

Games 3 and 4 go in Grande Prairie on Monday and Tuesday with 7:30 p.m. starts.