Whitecourt, AB – For a second straight meeting, the Whitecourt Wolverines (6-3-3) fell by the slimmest of margins to their highway 43 rival, the Grande Prairie Storm (6-4-1), on Tuesday night.
The Storm showed no signs of bus legs early on as they jumped on the Wolverines, peppering several shots on goal, but goaltender Xavier Potvin had the answer on every attempt. The Storm would finally breakthrough with 7:35 left to play in the period as Sean Thomson buried a second chance opportunity after being left alone at the top of the Wolverine’s crease. The Wolverines sprang to life in the final moments of the period and at the 17:57 mark tied the game as Ben Evanish found Jude Butler alone at the back-door of the Storm net where he lifted home his first career AJHL goal.
The Wolverines carried the play for much of the second period but ran into penalty trouble in the final five minutes and the Storm’s first ranked power play unit made them pay. At the 17:21 mark of the second period, Edouard Michaud picked a corner from the top of the right-wing circle on a 4-on-3 power play. 30 seconds later, Noah Walters increased the Storm lead to 3-1 as he deposited a loose puck at the side of the Wolverine’s net. The Wolverines quickly reversed the momentum the Storm had gained as with just seven seconds left in the period, Evanish steered home a wrap-around to send the Wolverines to locker room down just one goal.
After failing to connect on their first five power plays of the game, the sixth proved to be the charm as Evanish banged home his second goal of the night after a Tyr Thompson point shot generated a rebound. Both teams traded chances through regulation but ultimately ended 60 minutes deadlocked at three.
The majority of the overtime period was spent in the Wolverine’s zone and with just over two minutes to play in the bonus frame, Michaud stepped over the Wolverine blueline and snapped a shot past Potvin to give the Storm the 4-3 win.
The Wolverines return to action on Friday night when they travel to Spruce Grove to battle the Saints (6-3-1) at 7 p.m.
GP Goal – 12:25 – Sean Thomson(1) from Justin Bernier and Edouard Michaud (EV)
WCT Goal – 17:57 – Jude Butler(1) from Ben Evanish and Tanner Foster (EV)
GP Goal – 16:51 – Edouard Michaud(12) from Tyrell Boucher and Zachary Okabe (PP)
GP Goal – 17:21 – Noah Walters(5) from Dallas Comeau and Parker Smyth (PP)
WCT Goal – 19:53 – Ben Evanish(5) from Jaedon Leslies and Liam Motley (EV)
WCT Goal – 9:56 – Ben Evanish(6) from Tyr Thompson and Liam Motley (PP)
GP Goal – 2:57 – Edouard Michaud(13) unassisted (EV)
Shots – WCT 32 (10-13-8-1) GP 26 (11-7-4-4)
Power plays – WCT 1/7 GP 2/6
WCT – Xavier Potvin 22sv/26sh (4-3-3)
GP – Charles-Olivier Levesque 29sv/32sh (4-4-1)
Three Star Selection:
1. GP-Edouard Michaud (2g, 1a)
2. WCT-Ben Evanish (2g, 1a)
3. GP-Noah Walters (1g)
Hardest Working Wolverine: Jude Butler (1g)
Recap presented by: