Resurgent Storm sweep past struggling Glacier Kings
The Comox Valley Glacier Kings won their first two meetings with the Campbell River Storm this year by a combined score of 12-6. Since then, the two Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League adversaries have met three more times, with the resurgent Storm winning all three by a combined score of 17-11.
In game one of a weekend home-and-home on Friday, the Yetis travelled to Campbell River to face the Storm in hostile territory. In an exciting back-and-forth battle, the Kings found themselves in an early hole when Storm captain Kaydon Trumbley scored halfway through the first period.
The Kings' grinding line of Jonathan Speer, Jordan Kamprath and Kasey Ruel (who have been receiving more ice time due to their aptness at holding down their opponent’s top line), tied it up with a goal from Ruel. Alex Grupe replied for the Storm to make it 2-1 after one.
In the second, Tyson Rennie and Jesse Spooner scored back-to-back goals for the Storm to put the Kings in a 4-1 deficit halfway through the game. Unwilling to give up, the Kings tallied two more from Colton Ruthven and rookie Myles Powell to end the period.
Just 31 seconds into the third, captain Jackson Garrett used his scoring touch to knot things at 4-4 before Desmond Bast, making his return to the lineup after suffering a concussion earlier in the season, blasted a shot past Storm goaltender Andy Salazar to give the Glacier Kings their first lead of the night.
That lead didn’t last long as Grupe and Feeney scored to make it 6-5. With just over a minute left, Powell continued his impressive season by burying the biscuit to tie things up. Overtime solved nothing, and in the shootout Feeney played hero for the Storm, scoring as the last shooter to seal the 7-6 victory for Campbell River.
It was right back at it the following night, as the Kings hosted the Storm to try and avenge the previous night's loss. Once again the teams traded goals in the first with Grupe scoring for the Storm and Jed Martin netting his third of the season for the Kings.
Red-hot Michael Scobie scored for Comox Valley to start the second before Friday night hero Feeney fired back for the Storm. Chase Haley lit the lamp on a sharp-angle shot just before the end of the period to make it 3-2 Storm after two.
In the final frame, stellar goaltending was on display at both ends of the ice as Storm's Nick Babich (first star) and Kings' Jackson Winkler (second star) made several big saves to keep things close. Brett Willsie finally solved Winkler late in the third to make it 4-2.
Powell made things interesting with his 17th of the year with two minutes left to play. But, it was all for naught as Babich slammed the door shut, giving the Storm their third win against the Kings in as many tries.
“You never like to lose,” said Kings' defenceman Bast. “But it’s always worse when we lose against these guys, our rivals.”
The Glacier Kings (who still hold first place in the North Division) have dropped four of their last five contests. In order to snap their recent slump, the Icemen will have to solve the league-leading Victoria Cougars, who are in town tonight. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. and the game can be heard at www.glacierkings.ca. The Kings are 1-1 against the Cougars this year.
VIJHL standings are in Scoreboard on page b??