Guelph Storm slips by Greyhounds in overtime

GUELPH – Ryan Merkley’s goal in overtime lifted the Guelph Storm to a 4-3 victory over the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in Ontario Hockey League play Sunday at the Sleeman Centre.

The goal prevented the Storm from losing after squandering a three-goal lead for the second consecutive game. Friday night at the Sleeman Centre the Storm was edged 5-4 by the Erie Otters after leading 3-0 at the end of the first period.

The Storm also led 3-0 at the end of the first period Sunday afternoon before Sault Ste. Marie battled back to take the game into overtime. The Greyhounds scored once in the second period and twice in the third.

Isaac Ratcliffe, Nate Schnarr and Cedric Ralph scored Guelph’s first-period goals. Getting assists in the game were Cam Hillis, Barret Kirwin and Ralph.

Morgan Frost, Cullen McLean and Ryan Roth hit for the goals for Sault Ste. Marie. Assists were awarded to Barrett Hayton, Mac Hollowell, Jordan Sambrook, Ryan O’Rourke and Matthew Villalta.

The Storm outshot the Greyhounds 31-26, but was scoreless on six power plays. Sault Ste. Marie went 1-for-4 on its power play.

Anthony Popovich was the winning netminder and he made 23 saves in the Storm net while Matthew Villalta had 27 saves for the Greyhounds.

Guelph remains atop the Midwest Division at 8-4-2-0 while Sault Ste. Marie leads the West Division at 10-3-3-0.

The Storm is to play the Kitchener Rangers (7-5-2-0) at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium complex Tuesday. Game time is 7 p.m.

The Storm and Greyhounds are to clash again Friday at Sault Ste. Marie’s GFL Memorial Gardens starting at 7:07 p.m.


Storm 4 Greyhounds 3 (OT)
Sault Ste. Marie     0-1-2-0–3
Guelph                    3-0-0-1–4
First Period
1. Guelph, Ratcliffe (Hillis), 5:12
2. Guelph, Schnarr (unassisted) 7:48
3. Guelph, Ralph (Kirwin), 9:23
Penalties: none.
Second Period
4. Sault Ste. Marie, Frost (Hayton, Hollowell), 6:09 pp
Penalties: Schnarr Gue (hooking), 4:19; Hillis Gue (hooking), 5:48; Frost SSM (cross checking), 8:12; Jacklin SSM (hooking), 9:39; Ratcliffe Gue (tripping), 10:30; served by Kerins SSM (too many men), 12:48; MacKay SSM (hooking), 18:23.
Third Period
5. Sault Ste. Marie, McLean (Sambrook), 2:02
6. Sault Ste. Marie, Roth (O’Rourke, Villalta), 5:40
Penalties: LeGuerrier SSM (cross checking), 8:31; MacKay SSM (roughing), Bertuzzi Gue (roughing), 9:33; Ratcliffe Gue (high sticking), 14:03; Sambrook SSM (delay of game), 19:04.
7. Guelph, Merkley (Ralph), 2:09
Penalties: none.
Shots on Goal
Sault Ste. Marie     5-10-10-1–26
Guelph                    12-5-11-3–31
Goalies: Villalta (OL, 31 shots-27 saves), Sault Ste. Marie; Popovich (W, 26 shots-23 saves), Guelph.
Power Plays (goals-chances): Sault Ste. Marie 1-4; Guelph 0-6.
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