Storm gets second win over Kitchener in a week
KITCHENER – The Guelph Storm scored twice in each period to double the Kitchener Rangers 6-3 in OHL play Friday night at the Kitchener Memorial Arena.
It was the Storm’s second win over Kitchener this week and it has meant the Storm has likely avoided a Western Conference quarter-final playoff series with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.
The Storm is three points ahead of both the Windsor Spitfires (30-30-4-2) and Saginaw Spirit (29-29-8-0) and both Windsor and Saginaw have a game in hand on the Guelph squad. They meet to finish their regular seasons Sunday at Windsor.
The eighth-place finisher is to play the Greyhounds (54-7-3-3) in the conference quarter-finals while the seventh-place finisher will play Kitchener (43-21-3-1) and the sixth-place finisher will play the Sarnia Sting (46-16-4-1). Kitchener is second in the conference as the Rangers have clinched first in the Mid West Division.
Owen Sound Attack (37-22-3-5) and London Knights (38-24-2-2) will meet in the other conference quarter-final.
Friday, the Storm rallied from a 3-2 deficit early in the second period with four consecutive goals.
Cedric Ralph scored twice for the Storm while single goals were added by Mason Primeau, Isaac Ratcliffe, Cam Hillis and Alexey Toropchenko. Mark Woolley had two assists and Barret Kirwin, Garrett McFadden, Hillis, Ratcliffe, Owen Lalonde, Ryan Merkley and Liam Hawel had one apiece.
Eric Guest, Greg Meireles and Michael Vukojevic hit for a goal apiece for Kitchener. Joseph Garreffa assisted on two of the goals while Nick McHugh and Givani Smith each had one assist.
The Storm outshot the Rangers 35-26 and went 1-for-2 on their power play while Kitchener was scoreless on its lone power play.
Anthony Popovich was the winning netminder for the Storm while Mario Culina took the loss in net for Kitchener.
The result leaves the Storm at 30-28-5-4, good for sixth in the Western Conference. It also guarantees the team will finish the regular season with a record above the .500 winning mark.
The Storm is to complete its regular season Saturday against the Erie Otters (22-35-7-3) at the Erie Insurance Arena. Game time is 7 p.m.
Storm 6 Rangers 3
1. Guelph, Ralph (Kirwin, McFadden), 4:47
2. Kitchener, Guest (unassisted) 10:58
3. Guelph, Primeau (Hillis, Ratcliffe), 15:29
4. Kitchener, Meireles (McHugh, Garreffa), 0:31
5. Kitchener, Vukojevic (Garreffa, Smith), 3:08
6. Guelph, Ralph (Lalonde, Woolley), 4:54
7. Guelph, Ratcliffe (Woolley), 16:23
8. Guelph, Hillis (Merkley, Hawel), 12:38 pp
9. Guelph, Toropchenko (unassisted) 19:43 en
Penalties: Gentles Kit (holding), 10:42; McHugh Kit (hooking), 11:02; Hillis Gue (tripping), 14:25.
Shots on Goal
Goalies: Popovich (W, 26 shots-23 saves), Guelph; Culina (L, 34 shots-29 saves), Kitchener.
Power Plays (goals-chances): Guelph 1-2; Kitchener 0-1.
- Guelph Sports Journal