Storm steady, despite injuries
It wouldn’t be a hockey season without injury troubles, which are plaguing the Kamloops Storm early in their Kootenay International Junior Hockey League campaign.
“We’re a little beat up right now,” Storm owner and general manager Barry Dewar said.
“What can you do, though?”
Despite the growing list of hurt players, the Storm are 3-1-0-2 and three points back of the Doug Birks Division-leading North Okanagan Knights, who have played one more game than Kamloops.
On the infirmary list are leading scorer Blake Culbert, defenceman-turned-forward Ryan Skinner and rookie forward Connor Fortems, who the Storm “are very high on,” said Dewar.
Culbert broke his wrist and will miss about five weeks.
“Skinner went down against Chase and nobody really knows why,” Dewar said.
“He’s on crutches and will only be out a week or 10 days.”
The Storm play five consecutive road games starting on Friday, Oct. 5, when Kamloops travels to Sicamous to meet the Eagles.
Trips to Spokane, Fruitvale, Grand Forks and Chase will follow before the Storm return home to play Sicamous on Oct. 20.
Fortems is expected to make his debut on the upcoming road swing.
Missing from the fold, although not due to injury, is forward Jacky Lu, one of the Storm’s better players from the 2011-2012 campaign.
He has yet to play a game this season.
“It’s a long, complicated story,” Dewar said.
“He’s got to get signed to a card and that should happen within the next few days.”
There are no health problems in net, where Marcus Beesley is 3-2 with a 2.68 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage.
Kamloops is coming off a pair of weekend losses at McArthur Island Sports and Event Centre — 4-3 to Chase on Friday, Sept. 28, and 3-2 in overtime to Osoyoos on Saturday, Sept. 29.
Dewar is hoping the return of a few of his charges will help right the ship.
“We’re expecting it to be a challenging road trip but, if we can get Fortems and a couple other guys back, we should be able to weather the storm.”