The rich got richer last weekend in the bantam A division of the North Central Minor Hockey Association as the league-leading Stettler Storm won three games in four days, including back-to-back victories against second-place Maskwacis.
Brenden Tucker and Ryan Mielke scored third-period goals Sunday to lift host Stettler to a 4-2 win over Maskwacis, which lost 7-6 to the Storm on Friday night at Hobbema.
Mielke and Carter Cooke each picked up a goal and an assist at home Sunday. Tye Mulgrove also scored for Stettler, which received a 30-save performance from Davin Nattestad.
At Four Nations Arena on Friday, Talon Conner’s hat-trick goal with 7:33 left gave the Storm its one-goal victory.
Paul du Toit, with a three-point night, and Mielke each added two goals for Stettler. Cole Pedersen collected three assists and Mulgrove had two.
The Storm trailed 6-5 midway through the final period. Stettler defenceman du Toit evened the score just 36 seconds before Conner’s winner. Pedersen assisted on both of those goals.
Nattestad blocked 23 shots as Stettler outshot the host team 33-29.
Maskwacis netted four power-play goals, while Stettler tallied three extra-strength goals and also scored on a du Toit penalty shot in the opening period.
Last Thursday at Lacombe, Mielke fired three goals as Stettler doubled the Rockets.
Mulgrove, Euan Hanton and Brett Coleman — the Storm captain — also scored and Conner assisted on two goals.
The Storm broke open a 3-2 game with three straight goals in the first 5:10 of the third period to gain a 6-2 lead.
Nattestad made 29 saves for Stettler, which directed 37 shots at Justin Verveda.
After suffering its first loss of the season the previous weekend against Edson, Stettler’s three-win surge pushed its record to 8-1-3. The Storm are four points ahead of Maskwacis (7-4-1) and six in front of Edson (6-0-1) and Lacombe (6-6-1).
Red Deer Frontier (5-6-2), Innisfail (1-8-2) and Rocky Mountain House (1-9-0) round out the seven-team league.
Up next for Stettler is a home game against Innisfail at 2:45 p.m. Saturday at the Stettler Recreation Centre. The Storm visit Rocky at 1:45 p.m. Sunday.