Ratcliffe nets 50th as Storm drops Erie
GUELPH – The Guelph Storm scored the final three goals of the game to complete the home portion of their Ontario Hockey League regular season with a 5-2 victory over the Erie Otters Friday night at the Sleeman Centre.
Isaac Ratcliffe scored twice in the game for the Storm to put an end to a three-game goalless streak and lift his seasonal total to 50 goals. He’s the first player to score 50 in a single season in a Storm uniform since Ryan Callahan netted 52 in 2005-06 and fourth overall. Todd Bertuzzi scored 54 in 1994-95, one season after Mike Prokopec tallied 52 times.
Friday, the Storm led 2-1 after the first period and 3-2 after the second.
MacKenzie Entwistle also scored twice for the Storm and he had two assists while Nick Suzuki had a goal and three assists. Getting one assist apiece were Ratcliffe, Dmitri Samorukov and Owen Lalonde.
Joseph Mack and Brendan Sellan each had a goal for Erie while Gera Poddubnyi picked up an assist.
The Storm outshot Erie 29-27 and went 2-for-5 on their power play while Erie was scoreless on four power plays.
Anthony Popovich had 25 saves to get the win in the Storm net while Cole Ceci had 24 saves for Erie.
The win was the 39th of the season for the Storm, the most they’ve had in a single season since they won the league title in 2013-14.
The five-goal output also lifted their total to 303, the sixth time in team history that they’ve reached 300 goals and the fourth time they’ve topped that number.
Erie’s loss combined with a 4-3 win by the Sarnia Sting over the Windsor Spitfires put an end to the Otters’ playoff hopes.
All 16 playoff combatants are known with two days left in the league’s regular season.
Getting in in the Western Conference are the London Knights (45-15-6-1), Saginaw Spirit (45-15-3-3), Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (43-16-7-1), the Storm (39-18-6-4), Kitchener Rangers (34-29-3-1), Owen Sound Attack (30-31-4-2), Sarnia (27-32-5-2) and Windsor (25-33-5-5).
Qualifying in the Eastern Conference are the Ottawa 67’s (49-12-4-2), Niagara IceDogs (42-17-7-0), Oshawa Generals (43-20-4-0), Sudbury Wolves (42-19-3-2), Peterborough Petes (33-30-2-2), Mississauga Steelheads (31-29-5-2), North Bay Battalion (30-32-3-2) and Hamilton Bulldogs (29-34-3-2).
The Storm and Otters are to meet again Saturday to complete their regular seasons at the Erie Insurance Arena. Game time is 7 p.m.
Storm 5 Otters 2
1. Guelph, Ratcliffe (Entwistle), 5:06
2. Guelph, Entwistle (Ratcliffe, Suzuki), 7:32 pp
3. Erie, Mack (Poddubnyi), 18:56
Penalty: Duff Erie (hooking), 6:33.
4. Erie, Sellan (unassisted), 6:42
5. Guelph, Ratcliffe (Suzuki, Samorukov), 10:05 pp
Penalties: Bench Gue (too many men served by Roberts), 2:25; Lalonde Gue (cross checking), 4:44; Bench Erie (too many men served by Singer), 6:19; Sellan Erie (delay of game), 8:15; MacDougall Erie (hooking), 16:43; Schnarr Gue (hooking), 18:15.
6. Guelph, Entwistle (Lalonde, Suzuki), 4:53
7. Guelph, Suzuki 34 (Entwistle), 16:51 en
Penalties: Samorukov Gue (delay of game), 9:58; Duff Erie (hooking), 12:40.
Shots on Goal
Goalies: Ceci (L, 28 shots-24 saves), Erie; Popovich (W, 27 shots-25 saves), Guelph.
Power Plays (goals-chances): Erie 0-4; Guelph 2-5.
- Guelph Sports Journal