Third-period goal gives victory to fast-starting Storm

GUELPH – The Guelph Storm scored the first three goals of the game, but needed a third-period goal to edge the Hamilton Bulldogs 4-3 in Ontario Hockey League play Sunday night at the Sleeman Centre.

The Storm was up 3-0 until Hamilton started a comeback with a goal with seven seconds to go in the first period. The visitors added two more goals in the first four minutes of the second period to create a stalemate that lasted until Cedric Ralph fired home the game winner for the Storm with 6:49 to go in regulation time.

Eric Uba had two of the first-period goals for the locals while Pavel Gogolev added the other one, his 26th of the season. Michael Bianconi and Keegan Stevenson each had two assists for the Storm while Cam Hillis, Uba, Ralph and Jacob Roach had one apiece.

Gogolev’s goal extended his scoring streak to eight games. He has 12 goals and four assists in the streak and has lifted himself to second in the goal-scoring race and seventh in the point-scoring race. Arthur Kaliyev of the Bulldogs has a league-high 31 goals and is tied for the point-scoring lead with Marco Rossi of the Ottawa 67’s with 62 points.

Avery Hayes, former Storm Tag Bertuzzi and Isaac Nurse each had a goal for Hamilton while Nathan Staios had two assists and Bertuzzi, Jake Gravelle, Hayes and Michael Renwick each had one.

The Storm outshot the Bulldogs 32-30, but were scoreless on their lone power play while Hamilton went 1-for-2.

Owen Bennett had 27 saves for the Storm while starter Marco Costantini had six for Hamilton before being replaced by Zachary Roy after Guelph’s third goal at 13:37 of the opening period. Roy had 22 saves the rest of the way.

The Storm (21-8-1-3) leads the Midwest Division and the Western Conference with 46 points. Saginaw Spirit (20-10-2-2) and Windsor Spitfires (20-8-4-0) are tied for second in the conference with 44 points while the London Knights (20-12-1-1) and Kitchener Rangers (19-11-2-2) are tied for second in the division with 42 points.

Ottawa (26-6-0-0) leads the league with 52 points.

The Storm are to wrap up the 2019 portion of their schedule with a New Year’s Eve game against the Barrie Colts (tied for second in the Central Division at 14-15-2-1) at the Colts Centre in Barrie. Game time Tuesday is 7:30 p.m.


Storm 4 Bulldogs 3
Hamilton     1-2-0–3
Guelph        3-0-1–4
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