Storm pulls even with Kitchener in series
GUELPH – Four goals in the second period sparked the Guelph Storm to a 6-4 victory over the Kitchener Rangers in Ontario Hockey League playoff action Wednesday night at the Sleeman Centre.
With the victory the Storm ties the best-of-seven Western Conference quarter-final at two wins apiece.
Kitchener led 2-1 at the end of the first period before the Storm shot ahead 5-2 by the end of the second.
Isaac Ratcliffe and Liam Hawel struck for two goals apiece for the Storm while Keegan Stevenson and Garrett McFadden also scored. Cam Hillis, Mark Shoemaker and Ryan Merkley each had two assists while Dmitri Samorukov, Mark Woolley, Hawel, Stevenson and Nate Schnarr had one apiece.
Joseph Garreffa scored twice for Kitchener and Givani Smith and Kole Sherwood netted single goals. Logan Brown assisted on three of the goals, Adam Mascherin had two assists and Logan Stanley, Sherwood and Connor Bunnaman each had one.
The Storm made the most of their shots and also received a stellar performance in net from Anthony Popovich, especially in the third period when they were outshot 15-1. Kitchener outshot the Storm 43-20 in the match and went 2-for-5 on its power play while the hosts were scoreless on their three power plays.
Popovich made 39 saves to get the win in the Guelph net while starter Mario Culina made nine saves on 13 shots before being replaced by Luke Richardson at 11:20 of the second period after the Storm went ahead 4-2. Richardson stopped five of the six shots he faced and Guelph’s final goal of the game was an empty-netter with 1:02 to go, their only shot on net in the third.
The result means the series will go at least six games. Game 5 is slated for Friday at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium starting at 7:30 p.m. while Game 6 is to go Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Sleeman Centre.
Storm 6 Rangers 4
1. Guelph, Ratcliffe (Hillis, Shoemaker), 6:03
2. Kitchener, Garreffa (Mascherin, Stanley), 11:17 pp
3. Kitchener, Smith (Sherwood, Brown), 13:25
Penalties: Toropchenko Gue (check from behind), 1:18; Smith Kit (hooking), 7:25; Kirwin Gue (delay of game), 10:49; Stanley Kit (slashing), 19:33.
4. Guelph, Hawel (Merkley, Samorukov), 1:35
5. Guelph, Ratcliffe (Shoemaker, Woolley), 5:10
6. Guelph, Stevenson (Merkley, Hillis), 11:20
7. Guelph, McFadden (Hawel, Stevenson), 14:11
Penalties: Sherwood Kit (slashing), 17:47; Samorukov Gue (hooking), 19:08.
8. Kitchener, Sherwood (Brown, Bunnaman), 5:46
9. Kitchener, Garreffa 3 (Mascherin, Brown), 8:01 pp
10. Guelph, Hawel 3 (Schnarr), 18:58 en
Penalties: Toropchenko Gue (high sticking), 7:28; McFadden Gue (slashing), 15:41; Brown Kit (roughing), Shoemaker Gue (roughing), 19:52.
Shots on Goal
Goalies: Culina (L, 31:20, 13 shots-9 saves), Richardson (27:21, 6 shots-5 saves), Kitchener; Popovich (W, 43 shots-39 saves), Guelph.
Power Plays (goals-chances): Kitchener 2-5; Guelph 0-3.
- Guelph Sports Journal