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Guelph Storm nipped by Greyhounds in playoff opener

The Guelph Storm surrendered four goals in the second period as they were edged 4-3 by the Soo Greyhounds Thursday in their Ontario Hockey League playoff opener at Sault Ste. Marie’s GFL Memorial Gardens.

The Storm twice had single-goal leads and never trailed by more than a goal in the match that saw both teams have limited shots.

Guelph jumped ahead early with the lone goal of the first period while every other goal in the game was scored in the second.

The Greyhounds tied it 7:31 into the middle stanza before the Storm went ahead again exactly one minute later. But Soo tied it 1:15 after that and gained its first lead 25 seconds after that.

The wild scoring outburst continued when the Storm tied it 2:03 after the Greyhounds had shot ahead and the hosts completed the scoring with the winning goal on a power play just over two and a half minutes later.

Jake Karabela, Michael Buchinger and Brody Crane scored the goals for Guelph while assists were awarded to Max Namestnikov, Buchinger, Braeden Bowman and Jett Luchanko.

Arttu Karki, Bryce McConnell-Barker, Owen Allard and Gavin Hayes scored for Sault Ste. Marie, Hayes netting the winner. Kirill Kudryavtsev collected two assists while Jordan D’Intino, Justin DeZoete, Hayes, Marco Mignosa, Caeden Carlisle and McConnell-Barker had one apiece.

The Greyhounds outshot the Storm 22-17, Sault Ste. Marie’s 10 shots in the second period being the only time in the game either team hit double digits in shots in a single period.

The Storm went 2-for-3 on their power play while the Greyhounds went 1-for-4.

Damien Slavik had 18 saves for Guelph while Charlie Schenkel had 14 for Sault. Ste. Marie.

The Greyhounds finished third in the Western Conference at 45-18-3-2 (W-L-OTL-SOL), 22 points ahead of the sixth-place Storm (33-28-6-1). Sault Ste. Marie scored 76 more goals than Guelph during the regular season and allowed 10 fewer.

Sault Ste. Marie won three of the four regular-season games between the two teams as the Greyhounds prevailed 5-2 at the Sleeman Centre Jan. 5 and 4-2 Jan. 12 and 3-1 March 8 at Sault Ste. Marie. The Storm won 3-2 in a shootout in Guelph Dec. 16.

This is the sixth meeting between the Storm and Greyhounds in the Storm’s 32-year history. Sault Ste. Marie won four previous meetings – 4-1 in conference quarter-finals in 2022, 4-0 in conference semifinals in 2015, 4-1 in conference semifinals in 2008 and 4-0 in conference quarter-finals in 1994. The Storm won 4-2 in the conference semifinals in 1997.

This year’s best-of-seven conference quarter-final is to continue Saturday at 7:07 p.m. in Sault Ste. Marie.

The series is to shift to Guelph for Game 3 Monday and Game 4 Wednesday. Those games at the Sleeman Centre are to start at 6:30 p.m.

Game 5 is to go in Sault Ste. Marie next Friday at 7:07 p.m. with Game 6 slated for April 7 at the Sleeman Centre starting at 6:30 p.m. and Game 7 at Sault Ste. Marie April 9 beginning at 7:07 p.m. Games 5, 6 and 7 will be played only if they’re needed.


  • Guelph Sports Journal