It was just pre-season, but so far, so good for the Grande Prairie Storm.
Saturday night in Prince GeoIt was just pre-season, but so far, so good for the Grande Prairie Storm.
Saturday night in Prince George the Storm defeated the hometown Spruce Kings 5-2 to wrap up the exhibition schedule.
The Storm finished pre-season play with three wins, one of them in a shootout, an outright loss and an overtime loss.
Veteran Braden Crone led the way Saturday with a pair of goals while Jordan McTaggart, Ryan Matthews and Marc Drapeau had singles. Cody Disher and Liam Board replied for the Spruce Kings.
The Storm got off to a good start when McTaggart stole the puck at the Spruce Kings blueline and raced in alone to open the scoring 4:43 into the game.
Disher tied it up at 1:43 of the period to make it 1-1 heading into the second.
Three goals in four minutes in the second put the Spruce Kings on their heels.
The first, on the powerplay, came off the stick of Matthews at 3:24; two minutes later Drapeau, with his fourth in two games against the Spruce Kings on the weekend (he had three in a 4-2 win in Grande Prairie Friday) made it 3-1; and then two minutes later Crone upped the margin to 4-1.
With five minutes to go in the third Board made it interesting scoring on the powerplay to make it 4-2 but a couple of minutes later Crone's second made a comeback impossible at 5-2.
David Readman and Curtis Skip shared the netminding duties for the Storm playing a half game each and allowing a goal each.
There was just one fight in the game. Storm defenceman Scott Nordstrom got the decision over Disher. It was only the second Storm fight in five playoff games and both involved Nordstrom.
Crone was named first star of the game while the Storm's Tanner Labbe was third star for collecting three assists.
The Storm now prepare for the season opener in Sherwood Park against the Crusaders on Friday. They head to Camrose to play the Kodiaks on Saturday before returning home for games Sept. 14-15 against the Lloydminster Bobcats in the Canada Games Arena.
Fans are reminded season tickets are on sale at the Crystal Centre Box Office.
Grande Prairie Storm 5 Prince George Spruce Kings 2
1. Grande Prairie Jordan McTaggart 4:43
2. Prince George Kody Disher (Eden, Pacheco) 9:04
Penalties: Charleston PG (hooking) 2:39; Larocque GP (holding) 14:38; Case GP (hooking) 16:32.
3. Grande Prairie Ryan Matthews (Labbe) 3:24 pp
4. Grande Prairie Marc Drapeau (Thudium, Correale) 5:20
5. Grande Prairie Braden Crone (Labbe) 7:19
Penalties: Toor PG (holding) 2:53; Nordstrom GP (cross checking), Disher PG (roughing) 8:09; Correale GP (holding) 8:27; Disher PG (hooking) 13:33; Hodge GP (hooking) 18:02.
6. Prince George Liam Board (Luedtke, Eden) 15:07 pp
7. Grande Prairie Braden Crone 2 (Labbe, Matthews)18:48
Penalties: Board PG (roughing) 2:44; Nordstrom GP (fighting, game misconduct), Disher PG (fighting, game misconduct) 8:18; Toor PG (holding) 9:06; Matthews GP (slashing) 13:04.
Grande Prairie 8 11 9 28
Prince George 11 6 7 24
Goaltenders: Grande Prairie David Readman (14-13), Curtis Skip (2nd -10:35, 14-14), Prince George Kirk Thompson (L 1-1)
Power plays: Grande Prairie 1/5 Prince George 0/5