Storm complete preseason with another win over Mississauga
GUELPH – The Guelph Storm didn’t leave it as late to pull out a victory this time as they wrapped up their Ontario Hockey League preseason schedule with a 7-4 victory over the Mississauga Steelheads Friday night at the Sleeman Centre.
The Storm finishes its preseason with a 5-1-0-0 record with all its games against either the Steelheads or the Niagara IceDogs, two teams that will not be regular-season opponents. The locals were 3-1-0-0 against the Steelheads.
Guelph Storm 7 Mississauga 4
The Storm trailed in the third period of each of their previous four wins. Friday they built a 5-1 lead by the midway point of the game, then saw Mississauga close the gap to a single goal by the sixth minute of the third period. The Storm responded with a pair of goals by Braeden Bowman 10 minutes apart to extend their advantage to the final three-goal margin.
Michael Bianconi, Jake Karabela, Matthew Papais, Danny Zhilkin and Cam Allen scored the other goals for the hosts while Matthew Poitras, Jack Harper and Michael Buchinger each had two assists. Single assists were awarded to Bowman, Cooper Walker, Ben McFarlane, Marko Sikic, Valentin Zhugin and Karabela.
Luca DelBelBelluz and Owen Beck tallied twice apiece for Mississauga while James Hardie had two assists and Kasper Larsen and Ole Bjorgvik-Holm had one each.
Owen Bennett played the complete game in net for the Storm and had 17 saves.
Justin DiLauro started in net for Mississauga, but was pulled in favour of Joe Rangers after Guelph’s fifth goal. DiLauro had 11 saves, one more than Ranger.
The Storm outshot the Steelheads 28-21 and Mississauga took 28 of the 51 faceoffs in the game.
The locals went 1-for-5 on their power play while Mississauga was 1-for-2. The Steelheads also had a shorthanded goal.
Poitras finished the preseason with two goals and eight assists while Karabela had four goals and four assists, Bowman had four goals and three assists, Zhilkin had five goals and an assist and Allen had two goals and three assists.
Jacob Oster had a 2.77 goals-against average and .844 save percentage in four games in net for the Storm while Dixon Grimes was at 3.96 GAA and .889 save percentage and Bennett was at 4.15 GAA and .855 save percentage.
The Storm is to open their regular season next weekend with a home-and-home series against the Kitchener Rangers who suffered a 6-4 loss to Niagara Friday at Kitchener. Those two teams are to play again today in St. Catharines. The Rangers enter that game with a 3-1-0-1 preseason record.
The Storm and Rangers are to play at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium Friday at 7:30 p.m. and at the Sleeman Centre Saturday at 7 p.m.
- Guelph Sports Journal