Guelph Storm topped by chasing Attack
GUELPH – The Guelph Storm saw their gap to the chasing Owen Sound Attack fall to a single point Friday night at the Sleeman Centre when Owen Sound handed the Storm a 4-2 setback.
The result leaves the Storm sixth in the Ontario Hockey League’s Western Conference standings at 24-21-1-3, one point ahead of the Attack (22-19-2-5).
Both teams are in the five-team pack battling for fourth through eighth. The top three teams in the conference (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, Kitchener Rangers and Sarnia Sting) are too far ahead to be caught and the bottom two (Erie Otters and Flint Firebirds) are far enough behind not to be too big a worry. They’d need to get on a huge winning streak to pose a serious threat to a playoff berth for any of the battling five.
London Knights (26-19-6-0) are fourth with 56 points and are followed by the Saginaw Spirit (24-19-2-2) with 54, the Storm with 52, the Attack with 51 and the Windsor Spitfires (23-21-2-2) with 50. Eighth is the position to avoid as it would mean a conference quarter-final with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (42-5-2-1), the only team in the league to have already clinched a playoff berth.
Of the battling five teams, the Storm, London and Saginaw each have 19 games to play in their regular season while Owen Sound and Windsor have 20.
Friday, the Attack jumped ahead early before the teams scored once each in the second. After Owen Sound scored the first goal of the third, the Storm struck for three in a row to tie it, but the Attack scored twice in the final three minutes to win it.
Mark Woolley, Liam Hawel, Isaac Ratcliffe and Alexey Toropchenko had a goal apiece for the Storm while assists went to James McEwan, Zach Poirier, Dmitri Samorukov, Nate Schnarr, Garrett McFadden, Ratcliffe and Ryan Merkley.
Aidan Dudas tallied twice for the Storm while single goals were added by Nick Suzuki, Maksim Sushko, Igor Chibrikov and Kevin Hancock. Trenton Bourque and Sushko each had two assists while Hancock, Jacob Friend, Brett McKenzie, Ethan Szypula, Jonah Gadjovich and Suzuki each had one.
Owen Sound outshot Guelph 42-29, including an 18-7 advantage in the first period, and went 1-for-4 on its power play while the Storm was scoreless on its lone power play.
Anthony Popovich was charged with the loss in the Storm net while Mack Guzda picked up the win for Owen Sound.
Next up for the Storm is a game against the North Bay Battalion (fifth in the Eastern Conference at 23-21-5-1) Sunday at North Bay’s Memorial Gardens. Game time is 2 p.m.
Attack 6 Storm 4
1. Owen Sound, Suzuki (Hancock, Bourque), 5:58
2. Owen Sound, Sushko (Friend, McKenzie), 7:19 pp
Penalties: Toropchenko Gue (delay of game), 6:39; Hillis Gue (hooking), 15:52.
3. Guelph, Woolley (McEwan, Poirier), 6:32
4. Owen Sound, Dudas (Szypula), 17:02
Penalty: Friend OS (check to the head), 9:26.
5. Owen Sound, Dudas (Sushko, Bourque), 3:02
6. Guelph, Hawel (Samorukov), 7:40 sh
7. Guelph, Ratcliffe (Schnarr, McFadden), 8:21
8. Guelph, Toropchenko (Ratcliffe, Merkley), 15:36
9. Owen Sound, Chibrikov (Sushko), 17:12
10. Owen Sound, Hancock (Gadjovich, Suzuki), 19:15 en
Penalties: Poirier Gue (high sticking), 6:02; Merkley Gue (abuse of officials misconduct), 19:14; Samorukov Gue (interference), 19:40.
Shots on Goal
Owen Sound 18-13-11–42
Goalies: Lafreniere (W, 29 shots-25 saves), Owen Sound; Popovich (L, 41 shots-36 saves), Guelph.
Power Plays (goals-chances): Owen Sound 1-4; Guelph 0-1.
- Guelph Sports Journal