Storm’s comeback foiled by Rangers in OT
GUELPH – Nick McHugh’s goal in overtime lifted the Kitchener Rangers to a 6-5 victory and ruined a comeback effort by the Guelph Storm that had seen them recover from a four-goal deficit in OHL play Tuesday night at the Sleeman Centre.
Kitchener had hit for the first four goals of the game by the 15-minute mark of the first period before the Storm rallied with five in a row.
Isaac Ratcliffe’s second goal of the game put the Storm ahead 5-4 with 2:38 to go in regulation time, but Guelph native Connor Bunnaman tied it for Kitchener 64 seconds later with goaltender Luke Opilka on the bench in favour of an extra skater to force the overtime.
Kitchener led 4-1 at the end of the first period and 4-3 after the second.
Matt Hotchkiss, Cedric Ralph and Ryan Merkley also scored for the Storm while Dmitri Samorukov and Garrett McFadden had two assists apiece and Nate Schnarr, Nic Sicoly, Hotchkiss, Ratcliffe and Merkley had one each.
Adam Mascherin, Darby Llewellyn, Jonathan Yantsis and Cole Carter had scored in the first period for Kitchener. Elijah Roberts had two assists.
The Storm outshot Kitchener 37-28 and went 2-for-5 on the power play while the Rangers went 1-for-3.
Anthony Popovich was tagged with the loss in net for the hosts while Opilka picked up the win for Kitchener.
The result left the Storm at 20-38-5-2 and Kitchener at 36-26-2-2. The Rangers will finish in sixth in the Western Conference and participate in the playoffs while the Storm will finish 10th in the conference and miss the playoffs for the second consecutive year. The Storm will pick either second or third in the OHL draft April 8.
The Storm will complete its season with a three-in-three weekend against teams that will play in the playoffs. They’re to host the Sarnia Sting (31-29-6-1) Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Sleeman Centre, play the Erie Otters (48-15-2-1) at Erie Saturday at 7 p.m. and host the Owen Sound Attack (46-15-2-2) Sunday at 6:30 p.m.
Rangers 6 Storm 5 (OT)
1. Kitchener, Mascherin 35 (Gentles, Meireles), 1:06
2. Kitchener, Llewellyn 23 8:27 pp ps
3. Kitchener, Yantsis 3 (Roberts, Carter), 10:32
4. Kitchener, Carter 14 (Damiani, Garreffa), 14:02
5. Guelph, Ratcliffe 25 (Samorukov, Schnarr), 18:49 pp
Penalties: Burns Kit (holding), 4:08; Di Perna Kit (delay of game), 5:43; Smith Gue (cross checking), 8:02; Seitz Kit (hooking), 17:33.
6. Guelph, Hotchkiss 13 (Sicoly), 8:44
7. Guelph, Ralph 8 (Samorukov, Hotchkiss), 19:21
Penalties: Gentles Kit (check from behind, roughing), Sicoly Gue (roughing), 6:01; Merkley Gue (holding), 12:36.
8. Guelph, Merkley 11 (McFadden, Ratcliffe), 14:26 pp
9. Guelph, Ratcliffe 26 (McFadden, Merkley), 17:22
10. Kitchener, Bunnaman 35 (Di Perna, Roberts), 18:26
Penalties: McHugh Kit (playing with broken stick), Rhodes Gue (interference), 14:54.
11. Kitchener, McHugh 13 (unassisted) 1:39
Shots on Goal
Goalies: Opilka (W, 13-13-1-1, 37 shots-32 saves), Kitchener; Popovich (L, 7-16-1-1, 28 shots-22 saves), Guelph.
Power Plays (goals-chances): Kitchener 1-3; Guelph 2-5.
Referees: Burchell, Neely; Linesmen: Menard, Pfohl.
- Guelph Sports Journal