Storm on brink of advancing to Western semifinals
KITCHENER – Thanks to scoring four goals in a span of just over five and a half minutes early in the second period, the Guelph Storm is a win away from advancing to the Ontario Hockey League Western Conference semifinals.
That scoring spree that started 37 seconds after the Kitchener Rangers had taken the lead in Tuesday night’s game at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium lifted the Storm to a 3-0 lead in their best-of-seven conference quarter-final.
The teams had been tied 1-1 at the end of the first period before the Storm skated to a 5-3 lead by the end of the second. They cemented the victory with an empty-netter with 40 seconds to go in the third.
Nick Suzuki scored two of the goals for Guelph while single goals were added by Nate Schnarr, Isaac Ratcliffe, Alexey Toropchenko and Dmitri Samorukov. Schnarr had two assists and Ratcliffe, MacKenzie Entwistle, Liam Hawel, Suzuki, Sean Durzi and Samorukov had one apiece.
Jonathan Yantsis scored twice for Kitchener and Joseph Garreffa netted the other goal. Assists were awarded to Mike Petizian with two and Alexey Lipanov and Michael Vukojevic with one apiece.
The Storm outshot Kitchener 44-40 including a 21-8 margin in the second period. The Guelph side also went 1-for-3 on its power play and kept Kitchener scoreless on five power plays.
Anthony Popovich made 37 saves to get the win in net for the Storm while Luke Richardson had 38 saves for Kitchener.
Fourth game of the series is set for Thursday at Kitchener. Game time is 7 p.m.
If a fifth game is required, it’s to be played Friday at the Sleeman Centre starting at 7:30 p.m.
In the other Western Conference quarter-finals, London Knights lead Windsor Spitfires 3-0, Saginaw Spirit leads Sarnia Sting 3-0 and Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds lead Owen Sound Attack 2-1.
In the Eastern Conference, Ottawa 67’s lead Hamilton Bulldogs 3-0, Niagara IceDogs lead North Bay Battalion 2-1, Oshawa Generals lead Peterborough Petes 2-1 and Sudbury Wolves lead Mississauga Steelheads 3-0.
Storm 6 Rangers 3
1. Guelph, Suzuki (Ratcliffe, Entwistle), 10:09 pp
2. Kitchener, Garreffa (Lipanov), 10:54
Penalties: Ratcliffe Gue (cross checking), 0:46; Yantsis Kit (cross checking), 8:54; Samorukov Gue (hooking), 12:43; Yantsis Kit (hooking), 18:24.
3. Kitchener, Yantsis (Petizian), 0:37
4. Guelph, Schnarr (Hawel), 1:14
5. Guelph, Ratcliffe (Suzuki), 2:36
6. Guelph, Toropchenko (Schnarr), 6:15
7. Guelph, Suzuki (Durzi, Samorukov), 6:49
8. Kitchener, Yantsis (Petizian, Vukojevic), 7:29
9. Guelph, Samorukov (Schnarr), 19:20 en
Penalties: Garreffa Kit (tripping), 2:32; Phillips Gue (holding), 5:48; Ralph Gue (hooking), 8:34; Entwistle Gue (holding), 12:26.
Shots on Goal
Goalies: Popovich (W, 40 shots-37 saves), Guelph; Richardson (L, 43 shots-38 saves), Kitchener.
Power Plays (goals-chances): Guelph 1-3; Kitchener 0-5.
- Guelph Sports Journal