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Playoff-bound Storm skate by Windsor Spitfires

WINDSOR – The Guelph Storm struck for three goals in the second period on their way to a 5-1 victory over the Windsor Spitfires in Ontario Hockey League play Thursday at Windsor’s WFCU Centre.

The teams were tied 1-1 at the end of the first period before the Storm skated to a 4-1 lead by the end of the second.

Jake Karabela scored twice for the Storm while single goals were recorded by Quinn Beauchesne (his first of the season), Braeden Bowman and Michael Buchinger. Jett Luchanko had three assists while Brody Crane had two and Bowman, Max Namestnikov, Karabela, Rowan Topp and Gavin Grundner had one apiece.

AJ Spellacy scored an unassisted shorthanded goal for Windsor that opened the scoring in the game at 8:07 of the first. The Storm started their string of five consecutive goals just over four minutes later.

The Storm outshot Windsor 37-21, the Spitfires getting seven shots on goal in each period.

The Storm were scoreless on two power plays and Windsor on one as all power plays were in the first period. All penalties called in the final two periods were coincidental.

Brayden Gillespie had 20 saves for Guelph and Joey Costanzo had 32 for Windsor.

The locals entered the game knowing they’d already clinched a playoff berth thanks to a 6-3 loss by the Sarnia Sting to the Mississauga Steelheads Wednesday. With the Erie Otters, Owen Sound Attack and Flint Firebirds also clinching playoff berths this week, the eight postseason participants in the Western Conference have been decided.

While exact pairings have not been decided, the London Knights, Saginaw Spirit, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and Kitchener Rangers will have home-ice advantage in the conference quarter-finals. The other four playoff participants in the conference are separated by three points.

London leads at 46-14-1-3 (W-L-OTL-SOL) and is followed by Saginaw at 46-15-1-1, Sault Ste. Marie at 42-16-3-2, Kitchener at 40-21-2-0, Erie at 29-28-5-2, the Storm at 29-27-5-1, Owen Sound at 28-27-5-3, Flint at 29-30-3-1, Sarnia at 23-26-3-1 and Windsor at 18-37-5-3.

The Storm have six games remaining on their regular-season schedule, all against Western Conference teams. They’re to host Saginaw Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Sleeman Centre and Kitchener Sunday at 2 p.m.

The Storm are to play at Kitchener Tuesday at 7 p.m., host Owen Sound Thursday at 7 p.m. and wrap up the regular season March 23 and 24 with a pair of 4 p.m. road games – March 23 at Owen Sound and March 24 at London.


  • Guelph Sports Journal