The Campbell River Storm had their six game winning streak snapped in Oceanside Saturday night, losing 4-3 to the Generals.
PJ Heger scored the winner at 2:32 of overtime on a wicked slapshot that went over the shoulder of Storm netminder Kyle Cheema and caught the top corner.
It was only the fifth win of the season for the last place Generals, and their new head coach, Chuck Kessler, says it was their best game of the season.
“Our players are starting to believe in what we are trying to do here and that makes a big difference,” commented Kessler, who took over as head coach of the cellar dwellers a month ago, “If I had my choice we’d play against Campbell River all the time because they bring out the best in us.”
The loss overshadowed an outstanding performance by Storm forward Gavin Rauser who scored twice, including a spectacular short-handed breakaway marker in the third period. He also added an assist on Kobe Oishi’s first period tally. Campbell River played without high scoring forwards Dane Feeney (injured) and Michael Olson (flu), along with defenseman Nathan Browne (injured), and also lost two-way centreman Zack Sanderson to an ankle injury in the first period.
However, Storm head coach Lee Stone refused to use the injuries as an excuse for losing.
“Oceanside played a good game but we gave them the confidence to play that way,” he said, “Because we beat them badly the last two times, we came in here tonight thinking we were going to do the same thing again. It doesn’t work like that – you don’t just show up and expect to win, you have to earn it.”
Goaltenders David Anderson of Oceanside and the Campbell River’s Kyle Cheema both had solid games as the Storm outshot the Generals 36-28.
Friday night at Rod Brind’Amour Arena, Connor Logan scored twice as the Storm doubled-up on the visiting Saanich Braves 6-3. Third period goals by Gage Colpron, Gavin Rauser, and the first of the season by team captain Jordan Rauser broke open a close game as the Storm registered their 20th win of the season. Michael Olson also tallied for the locals, while defenseman Andy Stevens and first-year sensation Tyler Welsh each contributed a pair of assists. Welsh continues to lead all VIJHL rookies in scoring with 34 points.
The first place Storm (20-2-1-1) take on Comox Valley (13-7-1-3) in a home-and-home series this weekend. The Glacier Kings are currently tied for second place in the VIJHL North Division standings with the Nanaimo Buccaneers.