Storm topped by Otters, wait for playoff opponent

ERIE, Pa. – The Guelph Storm surrendered four consecutive goals to the Erie Otters Saturday night at the Erie Insurance Arena as they finished their OHL regular season with a 6-4 loss.

The teams were tied 1-1 late in the opening period before the hosts went on their scoring run that put them up 5-1 midway through the third. The Storm halted that streak with a pair of goals 58 seconds apart and both teams added a goal in the final minute of the game.

Erie led 3-1 at the end of the first and 4-1 after the second.

Isaac Ratcliffe, Zach Poirier, Dmitri Samorukov and Keegan Stevenson scored the goals for Guelph while Cam Hillis had two assists and Nate Schnarr, Ryan Merkley, Samorukov, Mason Primeau, Mark Woolley and James McEwan each had one.

Erie received goals from Alex Gritz, Kyle Maksimovich, Troy Lajeunesse, Hayden Fowler, Gera Poddubnyi and Stephane Patry. Fowler and Owen Headrick each assisted on two goals while single assists were awarded to Aidan Timmermans, Alex Gritz, Maxim Golod, Chad Yetman, Maksimovich, Patrick Fellows and Poddubnyi.

The Storm outshot the Otters 33-31 and both teams scored two power-play goals. Guelph had five power plays in the game and Erie had three.

Anthony Popovich started in net for the Storm and he faced 21 shots before being replaced by Nico Daws after Erie’s fourth goal at 10:36 of the second period. Daws went the rest of the way and made eight saves, but was charged with the loss as he yielded Erie’s winning goal at 8:25 of the third. It was Daws’s first appearance in net since taking a loss in overtime in a game against the Flint Firebirds March 2 at the Sleeman Centre and his 14th appearance of the season.

Anand Oberoi picked up the win in Erie’s net as he made 29 saves.

The Storm finishes the regular season at 30-29-5-4, good for 69 points. They’re one point ahead of the Windsor Spitfires (31-30-4-2), two ahead of the Saginaw Spirit (29-29-9-0) and 13 ahead of Erie (23-35-7-3).

The Otters will not qualify for the playoffs while the final positions in the Western Conference standings for Guelph, Windsor and Saginaw will be decided Sunday afternoon when the Spitfires and Spirit clash in Windsor.

The eighth-place finisher will play the first-place Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (54-7-3-3) in the conference quarter-finals while the seventh-place finisher will play the second-place Kitchener Rangers (43-21-3-1) and the sixth-place finisher will play the third-place Sarnia Sting (46-17-4-1). The Owen Sound Attack (38-22-3-5) and London Knights (39-24-2-2) will play in the other series.

The Storm finished this season with 20 points more than they had last season when they were 10th in the conference at 21-40-5-2 and missed the playoffs for the second consecutive year.


Otters 6 Storm 4
First Period
1. Erie, Gritz (Fowler, Timmermans), 1:42
2. Guelph, Ratcliffe (Schnarr, Hillis), 13:18
3. Erie, Maksimovich (Gritz, Golod), 17:20
4. Erie, Lajeunesse (Yetman), 19:41
Penalties: Shoemaker Gue (tripping), 3:41; Fowler Erie (cross checking), 8:37.
Second Period
5. Erie, Fowler (Maksimovich, Headrick), 10:36 pp
Penalties: Hillis Gue (slashing), 9:40; Poddubnyi Erie (throwing stick), 12:36; Toropchenko Gue (unsportsmanlike conduct), Henry Erie (unsportsmanlike conduct), 15:22; Duff Erie (tripping), 18:55.
Third Period
6. Erie, Poddubnyi (Fowler, Headrick), 8:25 pp
7. Guelph, Poirier (Merkley, Samorukov), 13:46 pp
8. Guelph, Samorukov (Hillis, Primeau), 14:44
9. Erie, Patry (Fellows, Poddubnyi), 19:00 en
10. Guelph, Stevenson (Woolley, McEwan), 19:54 pp
Penalties: Toropchenko Gue (slashing), Henry Erie (unsportsmanlike conduct), 5:02; Toropchenko Gue (fighting, unsportsmanlike conduct miscconduct), Henry Erie (fighting, unsportsmanlike conduct miscconduct), 7:40; Poirier Gue (slashing), 8:13; Lajeunesse Erie (hooking), 12:55; Fellows Erie (tripping), 19:16.
Shots on Goal
Guelph     9-15-9–33
Erie           15-9-7–31
Goalies: Popovich (30:36, 21 shots-17 saves); Daws (L, 28:22, 9 shots-8 saves), Guelph; Oberoi (W, 33 shots-29 saves), Erie.
Power Plays (goals-chances): Guelph 2-5; Erie 2-3.
  • Guelph Sports Journal