It's the kind of magic the Grande Prairie Storm wish they didn't have to hear about.
Storm falling 4-3 Saturday night to the Fort McMurray Oil Barons in front of 1515 fans at the Canada Games Arena, reducing Drayton Valley's magic number to two. Any combination of two Thunder wins or two Storm losses will officially eliminate the Storm from this year's playoff chase.
Storm had upset the MOB 3-1 on Friday, but found themselves fighting from behind all night in this one. Twice they erased one goal deficits, but when the visitors got a two goal lead in the third, it was simply too deep of a hole to climb out of.
Stephen Doane, Tyson McCallum and Ryan Baskerville scored for the Storm, with Doane also picking up an assist on the night. Coach Matt Hughes thought it was one of Doane's best games of the year.
“Stephen was really hustling tonight and made some great plays down low. He almost tied the game late, but their goalie came up with a big save.”
One bit of good news for the Storm was that Drayton Valley also lost Saturday, falling 4-1 to Spruce Grove. Still, the Thunder have 46 points, with six games left on their schedule, while the Storm have 41 points and just four games remaining.
Storm now must run the table to keep any hopes alive. Their next three games are on the road, beginning Wednesday night in Sherwood Park. They close out their home schedule on March 1st, when the Crusaders make a return visit to Grande Prairie.
– Story by Don Whiteford of www.PeaceCountrySports.com.