Storm season ends in OT - Ken Zaharia

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Storm drops a 4-3 overtime decision to Kerry Park in VIJHL Wild Card game

Storm season is officially over in Campbell River, that is, until next the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League campaign.

Kerry Park Islanders put an end to the Campbell River's hopes for a VIJHL title, but the Storm went down fighting. Down 2-0 midway through the second period in the wild card sudden death playoff game, Sunday at Bear Mountain Arena in Victoria, the Storm battled back to tie after 40 minutes on power play markers from Jordan Kamprath and Jon Brumwell.

And then in the final period the Storm fell behind 3-2, before Brumwell tied it back up with an unassisted shorthanded effort, six minutes into the third. The game ended in a 3-3 draw, which then sent the game into overtime.

The battle came to an end in overtime when the Islanders' Tylor Branzen poked the puck past Storm goalie Nicholas Clark at 8: 21, giving Kerry Park a 4-3 victory. With the win the Islanders keep playing, taking on the Nanaimo Buccaneers in a best of seven North Division semifinal, while the Storm have only next year to look forward to.

"The boys did us proud on Sunday," said Storm owner/general manager Kevin Spooner. "We have the greatest group of young men I could ask for. They deserved better, they were the better team in a lot of games.

" I just hope we have a lot of these guys returning because we all feel incomplete as this is a far better team than our record shows. Expect a bigger and better Storm team as we have plenty of great prospects and lots of young returning talent ready to hoist the cup!"

Penalties played a huge part in the outcome. Four penalties were called in the third period - all four to Campbell River. One was called in overtime (in a sudden death game?) and, you guessed it, it went to the Storm.

Clark made some incredible saves in the four on three Islanders power play, but two seconds after the penalty expired, and the Storm player not able to get back in the play, Branzen netted the Storm killer.

"Officiating needs to be addressed because it played a part in the game again as it always seems to do when we play," added Spooner.

"The (overtime) penalty happened behind our net on a harmless play as the Kerry Park player was already falling down."

No doubt the Storm deserved better, outshooting the Islanders, 16-6 in the opening period, and 53-41 overall. Josiah Friesen had a pair of assists, Joel Wheeldon and Brumwell had one each, leaving Brumwell with three points in the game.

"Jon Brumwell was a great leader but all played well, Friesen was very good as well," added Spooner.

Ken Zaharia, Courier-Islander Sports Editor