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No big moves expected for Storm as trade deadline approaches

There are only two days left until the trade deadline, and the Grande Prairie Storm have some decisions to make. New head coach Matt Keillor says they’ll likely make a couple moves by the end of the day Tuesday.

“I don’t know how significant they will be, but we don’t want to do anything too drastic when we’re in an opportunity to make the playoffs. I expect something to happen, but I don’t know how big it will possibly be.”

At 19, the Storm are running a fairly short roster right now, which means they likely won’t be making any trades without active players in return. Keillor says they’d like to see a few more bodies, but have been able to call up some local Grande Peace Athletic Club players to fill in where needed.

“They’ve done really excellent for us. They have the ability to practice with us too, which helps both programs significantly.”

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Those affiliate players can be used for a maximum of 10 games a season.

The Storm have failed to make to playoffs for the past three years, but with two months left in the regular season, they’re in a position to advance. With 43 games played, they are in sixth place in the north division with 26 points and the top seven will advance. Keillor says they’re trying to keep the pressure off of players as much as possible.

“And make sure that they remember that right now we’re in a playoff position and other teams are chasing us, so as long as we can keep that focus… and we just play our game and play our way we’ll be fine.”

The Storm are well ahead of last year’s pace, as they had only 26 points at the end of the 60 games season. They’re four points ahead of the Drayton Valley Thunder and six up from the last place Lloydminster Bobcats, but have three and six games in hand respectively so those positions could still change. Moving up in the standings seems unlikely, as they’re well behind the Sherwood Park Crusaders in fifth with 45.

Improving their goals against record will be another focus moving forward, as they currently have the worst differential in the league at minus 74.

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