Storm’s third-period comeback completes series comeback
LONDON – The Guelph Storm needed a third-period comeback Tuesday to complete their series comeback to advance to the Ontario Hockey League’s Western Conference final.
The Storm scored four times in the third period including three times in a span of three minutes and 41 seconds early in the period to double the London Knights 6-3 at London’s Budweiser Gardens.
London had won the first three games of the best-of-seven series, but couldn’t put the Storm away as the Guelph side won four in a row to move on to the conference final where they’ll play the Saginaw Spirit in a series that is to start Thursday at Saginaw.
The Storm scored the only goal of the first period Tuesday before the Knights scored three times in the first four minutes of the second. The Storm got one back before the second was seven minutes old then added their four third-period goals to finish off London.
The Knights had finished atop the Western Conference standings at the completion of the regular season at 46-15-6-1 while the Storm was fourth at 40-18-6-4. Saginaw was second at 45-17-3-3 and the Spirit ousted third-place Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (44-16-7-1) in the other conference semifinal.
Isaac Ratcliffe and MacKenzie Entwistle scored twice apiece for the Storm while single goals were added by Dmitri Samorukov and Nick Suzuki. Sean Durzi set up three of the goals while Suzuki had two assists and Samorukov and Ratcliffe had one each.
London received goals from Alex Formenton, Connor McMichael and Liam Foudy. Assists went to Evan Bouchard, Alec Regula, Formenton, Riley Coome and William Lochead.
The Knights outshot the Storm 34-28 and both teams went 1-for-3 on the power play.
Anthony Popovich made 31 saves in the Guelph net for the win while Jordan Kooy had 22 saves in the London net.
Saginaw will have home-ice advantage in the conference final. Games are scheduled to be played at Saginaw’s Dow Event Center Thursday (April 18), Saturday (April 20), April 26 and April 29 while games are slated to go at the Sleeman Centre Monday (April 22), April 24 and April 28.
The games in Saginaw are to start at 7:07 p.m. Monday and April 24’s games in Guelph are to start at 7 p.m. while the April 28 game has a 2 p.m. game time.
The April 26, 28 and 29 games will be played only if they’re needed.
Winner of the series gets the Wayne Gretzky Trophy and a berth in the J. Ross Robertson OHL championship series against the winner of the Bobby Orr Trophy as Eastern Conference champions. The Ottawa 67’s and Oshawa Generals are to start the Eastern Conference final Thursday at Ottawa.
Storm 6 Knights 3
1. Guelph, Samorukov (unassisted), 16:40
Penalty: Moskal Ldn (cross checking), 1:11.
2. London, Formenton (Bouchard, Regula), 0:33 pp
3. London, McMichael (Formenton, Coome), 2:23
4. London, Foudy (Lochead), 3:37
5. Guelph, Suzuki (Durzi, Samorukov), 6:59 pp
Penalties: Schnarr Gue (hooking), 0:15; Hancock Ldn (tripping), 6:02; Ralph Gue (hooking), 12:10; Suzuki Gue (hooking), 18:24.
6. Guelph, Ratcliffe (Suzuki), 2:49
7. Guelph, Ratcliffe (Durzi), 3:59
8. Guelph, Entwistle 4 (Ratcliffe, Durzi), 6:30
9. Guelph, Entwistle (Suzuki), 15:38 en
Penalties: Commisso Gue (roughing), Formenton Ldn (roughing), 15:13; Keane Ldn (slashing), 18:07.
Shots on Goal
Goalies: Popovich (34 shots-31 saves), Guelph; Kooy (27 shots-22 saves), London.
Power Plays (goals-chances): Guelph 1-3; London 1-3.
- Guelph Sports Journal