Storm rallies to clip Kitchener in overtime
GUELPH – Isaac Ratcliffe’s goal 56 seconds into overtime capped off a comeback by the Guelph Storm and gave them a 4-3 victory over the Kitchener Rangers Tuesday night at the Sleeman Centre in their final home game of the OHL regular season.
The Storm trailed 3-0 four minutes into the second period after Kitchener had scored three goals in just under five minutes of game time – one in the final minute of the first period and two in the first four minutes of the second.
The hosts got one back later in the second and scored twice in the third to take the game into OT, Alexey Toropchenko tying the score with 1:49 to go in the third.
Ryan Merkley and Mason Primeau scored the other goals for Guelph while James McEwan had two assists and Zach Poirier, Dmitri Samorukov, Merkley and Cam Hillis had one apiece.
Riley Damiani scored twice for Kitchener while Logan Brown had the other goal. Greg Meireles collected two assists while single assists were awarded to Adam Liska, Kole Sherwood, Jack York and Nick McHugh.
The Rangers outshot the Storm 40-26 and neither team recorded a power-play goal. Kitchener had two power plays and the Storm had four.
Anthony Popovich had the win in net for the Storm while Luke Richardson took the overtime loss.
The win vaults the Storm to sixth in the Western Conference standings at 29-28-5-4. They’re one point ahead of both the Windsor Spitfires (30-29-4-2) and Saginaw Spirit (29-28-8-0). However, Windsor and Saginaw both have a game in hand.
The team that finishes sixth will play the Sarnia Sting (44-16-4-1) in the conference quarter-finals that are to start next week. The seventh-place finisher will play Kitchener (43-20-3-0) and the eighth-place finisher will play the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (53-7-2-3). The London Knights (38-23-2-2) and Owen Sound Attack (35-22-3-5) will meet in the other series.
The Storm and Rangers are to play again Friday at Kitchener Memorial Auditorium starting at 7:30 p.m. and the Storm is to complete its regular season Saturday in a 7 p.m. game against the Erie Otters (22-34-7-3) at the Erie Insurance Arena. The Otters will finish ninth in the Western Conference and will not qualify for the playoffs.
Storm 4 Rangers 3 (OT)
1. Kitchener, Damiani (Liska, Meireles), 19:09
2. Kitchener, Brown (Sherwood, York), 2:41
3. Kitchener, Damiani (Meireles, McHugh), 3:59
4. Guelph, Merkley (Poirier), 13:54
Penalties: Gentles Kit (hooking), 6:23; Bench Kit (too many men, served by Garreffa), 8:48; Hawel Gue (intererference on goaltender), 19:32; Austin McEneny Kit (hooking), 19:49.
5. Guelph, Primeau (McEwan, Samorukov), 11:18
6. Guelph, Toropchenko (McEwan), 18:11.
Penalties: Meireles Kit (interference), 1:10; Toropchenko Gue (tripping), 11:57.
7. Guelph, Ratcliffe (Merkley, Hillis), 0:56
Shots on Goal
Goalies: Richardson (OL, 26 shots-22 saves), Kitchener; Popovich (W, 40 shots-37 saves), Guelph.
Power Plays (goals-chances): Kitchener 0-2; Guelph 0-4.
- Guelph Sports Journal