Storm Fall To Crusaders

 Every team has its ups and downs over the course of the season.

For the Grande Prairie Storm there have been a lot more ups than downs over the first 2 1/2  months of the Alberta Junior Hockey League campaign.

They have a 13-8-3 record and sit in fourth place in the North Division with 29 points so losing a pair on the weekend certainly doesn't mean it is panic time.

If there is a concern about the weekend it might have something to do with the third period.

In a 5-4 loss to the Camrose Kodiaks on Friday, at home, the Storm gave up a third period lead.

Sunday in Sherwood Park against the Crusaders they held a 3-2 lead in the final frame and ended up losing 5-3.

It was the first time in four games the Storm had lost on the road.

After a scoreless first period the teams traded powerplay and even strength goals in the second.

Dylan Stewart of the Crusaders made it 1-0 at 5:41 with the man advantage before Edouard Michaud tied it at ones at 9:06 on the PP.

Justin Bernier, the team's leading point getter, and third overall in the league with 12 goals and 22 assists, put the Storm ahead 2-1 at 11:36. Sherwood Park's Brendan Kallis tied it at 2-2 at 13:27.

A goal by Jonothan Hader gave the Storm the lead again at 1:38 of the third making it 3-2.

The rest of the period, goal-wise, belonged to the Crusaders.

William Zapernick tied it at 3-3 at 11:33 and Ryan Cox netted the game winner at 14:41. Stewart scored into an empty net with seven seconds remaining to salt the win away.

The Storm fired 43 pucks at Brandon Vogel in the SP net while Storm netminder Charles-Olivier Levesque looked at 30.

The team's four-game road trip continues on Monday with a game in Drayton Valley against the Thunder. On Friday they are back in Sherwood Park and Saturday visit the Saints in Spruce Grove.

Grande Prairie sits eight back of the third place Saints and are five up on the fifth place Bonnyville Pontiacs and seven up on the sixth place Crusaders.