Storm knocks off Kitchener to complete first-round sweep
KITCHENER – The Guelph Storm completed their first-round sweep of the Kitchener Rangers in the Ontario Hockey League playoffs with a 5-1 victory Thursday night at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium.
That win gave the Storm a 4-0 victory in their best-of-seven Western Conference quarter-final.
Three goals in the third period secured the win as the Storm had scored the only goal of the first and had also led 2-1 at the end of the second.
Alexey Toropchenko scored the final two goals of the series while MacKenzie Entwistle, Nick Suzuki and Cedric Ralph each had a single goal for the Storm. Sean Durzi assisted on two of the goals and single assists were awarded to Nate Schnarr, Isaac Ratcliffe, Domenico Commisso, Entwistle, Suzuki and Toropchenko.
Rickard Hugg scored for Kitchener with help from Joseph Garreffa and Greg Meireles.
The Storm outshot Kitchener 42-27, including a 34-15 advantage after the first period, and went 1-for-2 on their power play while the Rangers were scoreless on their two power plays.
Anthony Popovich picked up the win in the Guelph net with 26 saves while Luke Richardson took the loss in net for Kitchener. He had 36 saves.
Two other Western Conference series also ended in sweeps Thursday night as the London Knights defeated the Windsor Spitfires 5-2 and the Saginaw Spirit edged the Sarnia Sting 5-4 in overtime.
The Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds lead the Owen Sound Attack 3-1 in the other Western Conference quarter-final. They’re to meet in Game 5 Friday night at Sault Ste. Marie.
If the Greyhounds win that series, the Storm will play London in a conference semifinal. If the Attack wins that series, the Storm will play Saginaw. The conference semifinals will start next week.
In the Eastern Conference, the Ottawa 67’s and Sudbury Wolves completed quarter-final sweeps Wednesday night with the 67’s dropping the Hamilton Bulldogs 7-2 and the Wolves defeating the Mississauga Steelheads 4-1.
In the other conference semifinals, the Niagara IceDogs lead the North Bay Battalion 3-1 thanks to a 5-3 win Thursday night and the Oshawa Generals downed the Peterborough Petes 5-2 for a 3-1 lead in that series.
Of the teams that remain in the Western Conference playoffs, London finished the regular season first in the conference while Saginaw was second, Sault Ste. Marie third, the Storm fourth and Owen Sound sixth.
In the Eastern Conference, Ottawa finished first and was followed by Niagara in second, Oshawa in third, Sudbury in fourth, Peterborough sixth and North Bay seventh.
Storm 5 Rangers 1
1. Guelph, Entwistle (Schnarr, Durzi), 14:59 pp
Penalties: Valade Kit (cross checking), 13:50; Samorukov Gue (roughing), Damiani Kit (roughing), 19:36.
2. Guelph, Suzuki (Ratcliffe, Durzi), 14:11
3. Kitchener, Hugg (Garreffa, Meireles), 19:03
Penalties: Schnarr Gue (slashing, roughing), Sebrango Kit (roughing), 4:29; Entwistle Gue (tripping), 17:03.
4. Guelph, Ralph (Commisso), 4:22
5. Guelph, Toropchenko (Entwistle, Suzuki), 13:43
6. Guelph, Toropchenko (unassisted), 18:41 en
Penalty: Vukojevic Kit (slashing), 7:59.
Shots on Goal
Goalies: Popovich (W, 27 shots-26 saves), Guelph; Richardson (40 shots-36 saves), Kitchener.
Power Plays (goals-chances): Guelph 1-2; Kitchener 0-2.
- Guelph Sports Journal