If special teams, like penalty killing, and goaltending are two of the keys to playoff success over 1,600 hockey fans on Friday in Revolution Place Arena got a sample of what the Grande Prairie Storm are capable of in the post-season.
The Storm PK was better than OK and goaltender Charles-Olivier Levesque was outstanding in a 3-2 Storm win over the Calgary Mustangs.
The Storm killed off eight of nine Mustang powerplays, including a five-on-three situation in the second and third periods, and Levesque made 25 saves - including a stop on Mustang forward Ryan Stoynich at 9:58 of the second period with the game tied 2-2 and the Storm on the powerplay - and refused to yield as the Mustangs battled late to try to force overtime.
The win kept the Storm within a point of the fourth place Sherwood Park Crusaders (44 points to 43) in the North Division of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.
Jared Power, in his first home game in a Storm uniform, got his first goal in GP colors and it was a biggie. A Power-play goal no less!
He scored the game-winner at 10:17 of the third on the PP giving the Storm their 20th win of the season and 13th on home ice.
Power shoveled the puck into an open net after a shot by teammate Dallas Comeau had bounced off Calgary goaltender Ashton Abel.
Comeau got the Storm off to a 1-0 lead at 6:27 of the first before a goal by Salvatore Scalise, on the powerplay at 9:30, tied it at 1-1.
Comeau, who was in on all three goals, sent rookie Zach Okabe in alone just 13 seconds into the second and he deked Abel to put the Storm up 2-1.
With 22 seconds remaining in the second the Mustangs tied it at 2-2, on a goal by Ryley Smith, to set up Power's third period heroics.
Comeau was the centre of attention for a different reason late in the game.
He had to get trainer help after being smashed into the boards . . . and his teammates didn't like it.
That resulted in a bit of a melee after the final whistle. A situation that will, no doubt end up in some suspensions.
That means the team could be a little shorthanded when they host the Lloydminster Bobcats at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.
teamInfo Object ( [data] => Array ( [team_id] => 4 [city] => grande prairie [name] => storm [division] => n [website] => http://www.grandeprairiestorm.ca/ [dev_url] => [is_active] => 1 [logo] => storm.png [esports_id] => 490486 [up_esports_id] => 0 [fastHockey_id] => 0 [footer_sponsor_collection_id] => 62 [header_sponsor_collection_id] => 61 [side_sponsor_collection_id] => 116 [spotlight_ad_top_collection_id] => 336 [spotlight_ad_bott_collection_id] => 337 [webtv_title] => [webtv_image] => eye_of_storm_1qz.jpg [webtv_link] => [webtv_content] => [webtv_active] => 0 [scoreboard_image] => GP-Storm-Logo-20th-Anniversary-CMYK.jpg [team_bg_image] => GP-Storm-Logo-Jersey-Version-CMYK 300w.jpg [team_bg_full] => 0 [twitter_id] => GPStorm [twitter_url] => http://twitter.com/gpstorm [facebook_url] => https://www.facebook.com/gp.storm [instagram_url] => https://instagram.com/gpstorm/ [youtube_url] => https://www.youtube.com/user/gpstorm [analytics_id] => UA-26146535-15 [primary_hex] => #13214D [secondary_hex] => #13214D [tertiary_hex] => #9B9BA0 [quaternary_hex] => #F5DC02 [player_of_the_week] => [player_image] => [player_sponsor] => [player_sponsor_link] => [dplayer_of_the_week] => [dplayer_image] => [dplayer_sponsor] => [dplayer_sponsor_link] => [mplayer_of_the_month] => [mplayer_image] => [mplayer_sponsor] => [mplayer_sponsor_link] => ) )