Over the past few weeks, Storm coach Matt Keillor has stated that he felt his team was on the brink of breaking out of their recent offensive struggles.
That break out may very well have come Friday night ? particularly in the third period ? as the Storm scored three times in the final frame en route to a 5-2 win over Fort McMurray, which snapped their eight game losing streak.
?That was the loudest that I have heard that room in a long time.? said Keillor after the game, which was the Storm?s first win since October 9th.
Things did not start off good for the Storm though, as Michael Hodge and Konrad Belcourt staked the visitors to a 2-0 lead by the halfway mark of the first period.
However, the Storm chipped away at the lead, as Lukas Konashuk scored his first of two on the night late in the first period to cut the lead in half going to the dressing room.
?Good for (Lukas).? said Keillor. ?He is just one of those heart and soul guys. That is why he wears and ?A? for us. He does it all the right way every single day so it is nice to see him get rewarded for putting pucks on the net.?
The Storm would tie the game up late in the second period as Cade Mason one-timed a feed from Brody Dale on a 5-on-3 powerplay.
Keillor felt that goal was a huge momentum builder for his club heading into the final frame.
?You could just feel it in the room (going into the third) that there was no way that the guys were going to let this game slip though their fingers. They just went to another level, and a level that we know they can play at on a consistent basis. ?
Konashuk would pot the game winner at the 4:25 mark of the third period for the Storm, who would add a pair of 4-on-4 goals later in the period to secure the winner.
Jarin Sutton got the first at the 14:54 mark on a great play that saw him walk around a couple of Oil Barons? defenders before beating goaltender Evan Fradette low on the blocker side.
Lukas Jirousek would follow that up with a goal 28 seconds later to wrap up the scoring for the Storm, who outshot the MOB 37-23 on the night.
?The bench was very vocal in the third period.? added Keillor. ?There were a couple of long shifts and (Jackson) Wozniak was holding guys accountable on the bench, which was really good. When your captain and assistants are starting to hold guys accountable and I don?t have to, things start to roll.?
The win pulls the Storm into a tie with Fort McMurray for 5th place in the AJHL?s North Division.
They return to action Tuesday night when they wrap up their current four game home stand by hosting the Whitecourt Wolverines for the first time this season.
Puck drop is 7:30 at Revolution Place.