Storm Stop Bobcats

Grande Prairie Storm fans can be forgiven if they were having a flashback to championship year 2009 on Friday night.

A game in Revolution Arena against the Lloydminster Bobcats featured two fights, a loud crowd (pegged at over 1,300) and a lopsided 5-1 Storm win. A normal occurrence back in the day.

The victory against the last place Bobcats wrapped up a week that also saw them defeat the first place Whitecourt Wolverines 5-4.

The team now heads on the road for six games not returning until Feb. 9-10 when they host the Fort McMurray Oil Barons.

Friday's win over the Bobcats further strengthens the team's hope of making the playoffs for the first time since 2012-13.

They sit in sixth place, 10 points ahead of the last-place Bobcats.

The pre-game message “Give us 60 minutes and you get 48 hours” on the board in the Storm dressing room was, obviously, taken to heart by the players.

And because they gave 60 they get 48 hours to off to have some fun this weekend before that long stretch away from the friendly confines of Revolution Arena.

“We want honest efforts and that's what we got tonight,” said Storm head coach/general manager Matt Keillor. “We will enjoy the weekend off, but we have to have short memories in the AJHL.”

Two newcomers left the coach/GM with some good memories.

Connor Blake, who was acquired from the Calgary Canucks earlier in the weekend, had two points and Cam MacPhee, who started the year in the Western Hockey League with the Medicine Hat Tigers, got into a spirited tilt in the second period.

“It was great to see newcomers Blake and MacPhee make an impact right away,” said Keillor.

Dolan Bjornson led the offensive attack for the Storm.

The Hines Creek native had two goals and an assist while team scoring leader Micheal Clarke netted a pair, including a candidate for goal of the year.

That beauty came at 9:27 of the third period and was the final goal of the game.

Clarke, on a rush, was sandwiched between two Lloydminster defencemen as he drove for the net. He was knocked to the ice, but stayed with it and shot the puck into the net from his knees.

Bjornson scored the only goal of the first while Dallas Comeau, Clarke and Bjornson scored for the Storm in GP's three-goal middle frame. Zach Webb scored for the Bobcats to make it 4-1 at 3:43 of the third before Clarke wrapped up the scoring with his highlight goal.

Arik Weersink was in net for the Storm facing 32 shots while the Storm fired 46 at Austin McGrath at the other end.

The road trips starts next Friday-Saturday in Bonnyville against the Pontiacs before moving to Sherwood Park to take on the Crusaders Sunday. Then a south trip with games Feb. 3, 4 and 5 against the Canmore Eagles, Olds Grizzlies and Okotoks Oilers.