Trip Starts With Loss

The Grande Prairie Storm started a six-game road swing with a loss on Friday.

But thanks to the Whitecourt  Wolverines and Camrose Kodiaks the sixth place Storm lost no ground in the Alberta Junior Hockey League North Division standings.

The Storm, after tying the game early in the third on Cameron MacPhee's first goal in a Storm jersey, gave up two in less than five minutes later in the period to fall 4-2 to the Bonnyville Pontiacs.

GP continues its grip on sixth, which remains at four over the seventh place Drayton Valley Thunder and  nine ahead of the last-place Lloydminster Bobcats, after the Thunder lost 5-2 to the Wolverines and the Bobcats fell 3-1 to the Kodiaks.

In Bonnyville the Storm gave the fourth place Pontiacs all they could handle.

A goal by Storm forward Parker Smyth, his sixth of the season, opened the scoring at 1:44 of the second on the powerplay. .

Bonnyville, hosts of the World Junior A Challenge last November, tied it and then took the lead on their own man advantages.

Dylan Stewart tied it at 1-1 at 13:36 and then Brandon Whistle made it 2-1 with just 55 seconds remaining in the second period against the Storm penalty kill.

MacPhee's goal came at 5:53 of the third and gave the Storm some life . . . which was snuffed out on goals by Gen Bryshun (7:50) and P.J. Marrocco (12:11) giving the Pontiacs their 27th win of the season.

Xavier Burghardt played net for the Storm facing 33 shots while the Storm fired 19 pucks at Sandro Silvestre at the other end.

Game 3 if the six-game trip continues Saturday in Bonnyville. The Storm return home Feb. 10-11 to take on the Fort McMurray Oil Barons.