For the first time in five home games, the Grande Prairie Storm did not allow the visiting team to score on their opening shot of the game. Okay, that's about it for the good news.
It was hard to find many other positives from Saturday night's game, which saw the visiting Fort McMurray Oil Barons skate away with a relatively easy 3-0 victory in front of 1959 fans at the Canada Games Arena. Even the normally upbeat FREE FM broadcast crew ended up choosing a collision between two Grande Prairie players as their “Storm Hit of the Game”, as neither club seemed very interested in playing a very physical game.
Oil Barons got on the board about seven minutes into the opening period, after a give-away from Storm goaltender Curtis Skip. The MOB would would add both a powerplay and short-handed goal in the second period for insurance, with the Storm rarely threatening to put one by Tanner Jaillet in the Barons' net. Jaillet would end up making 25 mostly routine saves on the night to post the shut out.
As for special teams, the visitors connected on one of two powerplays they were awarded. The Storm went 0-for-3 with the man advantage and also gave up the short-handed tally.
Storm remain tied with Whitecourt for fourth in the AJHL North, as both have 64 points. The Oil Barons and Bonnyville Pontiacs are both three points ahead, in a tie for second place. Storm will try to draw closer Sunday evening, when they face Fort McMurray again for the final time this regular season. Gametime is 7:30.
– Story submitted by Don Whiteford of www.PeaceCountrySports.com.