Wrap up of South Swing

Hitting the wall is a term used in sports after athletes run out of energy.

When you play four games in less than five days chances are the energy level isn't going to be at its peak when you have to play 240 minutes of hockey in such a short stretch.

The Grande Prairie Storm were in that position Sunday when they took on the Drumheller Dragons in the southern Alberta city to wind up that energy-depleting group of games against four Alberta Junior Hockey League South Division teams.

Final score was 6-1 for the Dragons, but it wasn't lack of energy that Storm head coach/general manager Kevin Higo was talking about when Game 4 was over.

A powerplay that scored just once after 11 man-advantages in Drumheller troubled the third-year Storm mentor.

“Another game where special teams have a major impact on the game,” said Higo, whose team scored just three times in 25 man-advantage chances on the trip. “Our powerplay will get a lot of attention this week as it has to improve.

“Sunday afternoon we had numerous chances to get pucks to the net, but the Dragons closed off lanes and prevented those pucks from reaching the net.”

Jake Elmer, with his sixth goal of the season, got that powerplay goal at 14:19 of the second period. He was named Away Star of the Game.

By then the Dragons were ahead 3-0 after first period goals by Bradley Stonnell and Slater Dykema and a goal at 1:28 of the second by Evan Rochowiak.

Stonnell made it 4-1 at 17:08 of the second and Evan Tschumi shorthanded – to compound the Storm PP woes – to make it 5-1 at 18:32. He was chosen Home Star of the Game.

Jordan Patenaude scored at 14:49 o the third to round out the scoring.

Eric Jackson got the start in the GP net making 38 saves on 44 shots while Hunter Virostek looked at 32 Storm shots.

Despite the loss the Storm remain just one point back of the fifth place Sherwood Park Crusaders, who lost 5-1 to the Fort McMurray Oil Barons on Sunday.

They remain six up on the sixth place Drayton Valley Thunder and nine ahead of the eighth place Lloydminster Bobcats.

The Storm return home for four games against South Division teams. Friday (Dragons), Saturday (Calgary Canucks), Friday, Oct. 28 vs. Canmore Eagles and Saturday, Oct. 29 against the Olds Grizzlies.

Home has been sweet for the Storm. They are 4-0 at home.

“After a long trip like this it will be nice to get back to Grande Prairie and play in Revolution Place,” said Higo. “The atmosphere the past four games has been great and it has helped the team have success.

“The boys have confidence playing at home and with the next four games being at home it will be an important two weeks in the schedule.”

Saturday is Secure Energy Shoot for the Cure – the annual game where the Storm wear pink jerseys to create awareness and raise funds for the right against breast cancer.