Slow-starting Storm dropped by Kitchener
GUELPH – The Guelph Storm surrendered three goals in the first period and that was the difference in the game as they were downed 5-2 by the Kitchener Rangers in Ontario Hockey League play Friday night at the Sleeman Centre.
After Kitchener started with three goals in the first, the teams scored once apiece in both the second and third periods.
Owen Lalonde and MacKenzie Entwistle scored the goals for Guelph while Nick Suzuki assisted on both goals and Jack Hanley had one assist.
Rickard Hugg had a pair of goals for Kitchener and Jonathan Yantsis, Riley Damiani and Joseph Garreffa added single goals. Ryan Stepien, Damiani and Greg Meireles each had two assists and Garreffa, Kyle Gentles and Yantsis each had one.
The Rangers outshot the Storm 12-6 in the first period and Guelph outshot Kitchener 24-16 after that for a 30-28 advantage in the game.
Kitchener hit for two power-play goals on six power plays and held the Storm scoreless on five power plays.
Luke Richardson had 28 saves to get the win in the Kitchener net while Anthony Popovich took the loss in the Storm net. He had 23 saves.
The game could be a preview of a first-round Western Conference playoff series. The Storm is fourth in the conference at 29-16-6-4. They’re eight points behind the third-place Saginaw Spirit (36-14-2-2) and 10 up on the fifth-place Owen Sound Attack (27-24-2-2). Kitchener is fifth in the conference, two behind Owen Sound at 26-24-3-1 and the Rangers have a game in hand on the Attack. Kitchener is also three ahead of the Sarnia Sting (23-27-5-2) and four clear of the Windsor Spitfires (23-28-3-3).
For the Storm, the loss was their fourth in seven games and second in a row.
In six games between the Storm and Rangers this season, Guelph has three wins and three losses with one of the losses coming in overtime. The Storm has 13 games to go in their regular season including two against the Rangers.
The Storm are to host the Flint Firebirds () Monday at 2 p.m. at the Sleeman Centre.
Rangers 5 Storm 2
1. Kitchener, Hugg (Stepien, Damiani), 3:28
2. Kitchener, Yantsis (Damiani, Garreffa), 15:49 pp
3. Kitchener, Hugg (Meireles), 17:56
Penalties: Richardson Kit (delay of game), 7:24; Schnarr Gue (hooking), 9:35; Hawel Gue (goaltender interference), 14:49; Yantsis Kit (fighting), Ratcliffe Gue (cross checking, fighting), 18:18.
4. Guelph, Lalonde (Hanley, Suzuki), 1:48
5. Kitchener, Damiani (Stepien, Gentles), 3:11
Penalties: Bench Kit (too many men served by Stepien), 4:49; Cameron Kit (hooking), 7:50; Valade Kit (delay of game), 11:37; Samorukov Gue (tripping), 13:51; Michael Vukojevic Kit (holding), Hawel Gue (roughing), 19:57; Cameron Kit (roughing), 20:00.
6. Guelph, Entwistle (Suzuki), 9:24 sh
7. Kitchener, Garreffa (Meireles, Yantsis), 19:11 pp
Penalties: Toropchenko Gue (check to the head, check to head game misconduct), 6:40; Vukojevic Kit (instigating misconduct), 18:55; Ratcliffe Gue (check to the head, instigating misconduct), 20:00.
Shots on Goal
Goalies: Richardson (W, 30 shots-28 saves), Kitchener; Popovich (L, 28 shots-23 saves), Guelph.
Power Plays (goals-chances): Kitchener 2-6; Guelph 0-5.
- Guelph Sports Journal