The Guelph Storm may have outshot the visiting Windsor Spitfires 46-28 on Friday night, but it was the defending Memorial Cup Champions who walked away with the two points in the 2-1 game.
Putting an end to the Storm’s 2-0 winning streak while earning first star honours as the game’s headline was Spitfires goaltender Michael DiPietro, turning aside all 45 of 46 shots fired his way.
Sophomore Ryan Merkley had the lone Storm goal with less than two minutes remaining in the game, while Anthony Popovich made 26 of 28 saves on the night.
Additionally, both veteran James McEwan and second-year Nate Schnarr made their 2017-18 debuts, entering the line-up after being returned from the AHL ranks and injury respectively.
The opening frame saw nothing but zeroes on the scoreboard, but the beginning of what was to come for the Storm who put 17 shots at DiPietro, opposed to Windsor’s eight.
Moving into the second period, the Spitfires scored all they would need less than a minute apart starting with Daniel D’Amico recording his first of the year off a rebound at the 11:20 mark.
Eventually the game winner, Aaron Luchuk netted his sixth of the season 46 seconds later, giving the Spitfires all they would need to take home a victory.
Pushing for a comeback, the Storm went on to outshoot Windsor 20-6 in the final 20 minutes, eventually breaking DiPietro’s shutout bid with under two minutes remaining in the game. Merkley, recording his second of the season from Garrett McFadden and Isaac Ratcliffe, got the Storm on the board on the man-advantage as Windsor’s Austin McEneny sat for high sticking.
It wouldn’t be enough, though, as the Spitfires held on for the 2-1 win.
The Storm are right back at it Saturday afternoon, hosting Highway 7 rivals, the Kitchener Rangers, for a 4pm puck drop. The first 2,500 fans in attendance for the game will receive a free Guelph Storm toque. Purchase your tickets online here, by calling (519) 837-9690, or in person at the Guelph Storm Box Office in Old Quebec Street Mall.
Windsor Spitfires 2 at Guelph Storm 1 – Status: Final
Friday, October 6, 2017 – Sleeman Centre
Windsor 0 2 0 – 2
Guelph 0 0 1 – 1
1st Period– No Scoring. Penalties-Luchuk Wsr (check from behind), 4:00; served by Woolley Gue (too many men), 9:59.
2nd Period-1, Windsor, D’Amico 1 (Sirman, Day), 11:20. 2, Windsor, Luchuk 6 (McEneny, Larionov), 12:06. Penalties-Purboo Wsr (slashing), 8:50; Playfair Wsr (roughing), 11:20; Ratcliffe Gue (roughing), 11:20; served by Smith Wsr (too many men), 13:35; Staios Wsr (interference), 17:51.
3rd Period–3, Guelph, Merkley 2 (McFadden, Ratcliffe), 18:14 (PP). Penalties-Larionov Wsr (tripping), 3:16; McEneny Wsr (high sticking), 17:47.
Shots on Goal-Windsor 8-14-6-28. Guelph 17-9-20-46.
Power Play Opportunities-Windsor 0 / 1; Guelph 1 / 6.
Goalies-Windsor, DiPietro 4-1-1-0 (46 shots-45 saves). Guelph, Popovich 2-2-0-1 (28 shots-26 saves).
Referees-Stacy Jackson (24), Jason Faist (5).
Linesmen-Jean-Francois Menard (52), Brady Fagan (70).