During the second intermission of a game between the Grande Prairie Storm and Olds Grizzlys Saturday night a Storm fan was asked what he thought as his team went into the final frame with a 3-1 lead.
The fans response was: “Olds has them right where they want them.”
That comment was in response to the previous two home games when the Storm had 3-1 leads, but ended losing both times – 4-3 to the Canmore Eagles Friday in a shootout and 4-3 to the Calgary Canucks in overtime a week ago.
When the Grizzlys scored twice in the third to tie the game it looked like it was going to be déjà vu all over again.
Not this time!
A powerplay goal by 17-year-old Grande Prairie product Logan Mazerolle with just 1:22 remaining in the third period made it a happy drive home in the fog for the 1,000-plus Storm fans who watched their team win a 4-3 game this time.
“Another night where we got off to a good start and carried momentum for the majority of the first period,” said Storm head coach/general manager Kevin Higo. “But then we have issues and give up a lead again.”
Mazerolle, who now has eight goals for the Storm and is second overall on the team with 14 points, had staked the Storm to a 1-0 lead on the powerplay 6:05 into the first.
Zac McNeill made it 2-0 at 1:07 of the second and then Jake Ustorf 3-0 at 8:07.
Then the comeback started.
Austin Holmes got the Grizzlys to within two when he scored at 12:55 of the second and third period goals by Austin Holmes (9:32) and Ryley Smith (10:35) had fans, and no doubt the Storm coaches, saying: “Oh, no . . . not again!”
“The frustrating part about the second and third goals against were they came off lazy, bad line changes by our forwards,” said Higo.
“That will definitely by addressed in pratice and something we will be better at.”
On this night, however, the Storm players were having no part of déjà vu.
First they killed off a penalty when the score was tied at 3-3 and then the kid who could still be playing midget hockey gobbled up a rebound and scored on the powerplay to left a bit of a monkey off the team's shoulders and move the team into fifth place in the North Division of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.
The Grizzlys were 0-6 on the powerplay and the Storm scored twice on five PP chances.
“Special teams made a difference as the PP scored twice and the PK was a solid 100 per cent,” said Higo. If that can continue we will have more success.”
Each team had 30 shots on goal with Arik Weersink tending the GP cage and Andrew Henderson stopping pucks in the Olds end.
The Storm win, combined with the Drayton Valley Thunder defeating the Sherwood Park Crusaders 5-1 Saturday, has vaulted the Storm a point ahead of the Crusaders with 15 points in fifth place.
It was the team's fifth home win in eight games. They have points in seven of those games.
Thursday the team makes the long journey to Fort McMurray to take on the first place Oil Barons before returning home for games Saturday and Sunday at Revolution Place.