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Game Stories: Valiant effort by Storm but fall short

On Saturday night, the Guelph Storm headed down the 401 for their final meeting with the Windsor Spitfires. The Storm got the start their needed, but the Spitfires capitalized on a Storm team on the third game in four nights, taking the 3-1 victory.

On the second half of a back-to-back contest, the Storm turned to rookie goaltender Anthony Popovich to square off with the OHL’s top goaltender Michael DiPietro.

Off to a slow start, both teams struggled to find their stride, with the third shot of the game coming at the 4:38 mark, and the Storm didn’t record their first shot on net until the 6:42 mark.

As the period continued the pace of the play would pick up with both sides having some quality chances but the goalies were equal to the task keeping the period scoreless.

Shots after 20 minutes of play were 9-5 in favour of the home team.

It was a much stronger start to the middle frame, as the Spitfires came out flying, testing Popovich early and often, but the rookie was equal to the task.

Halfway through the period, it was the Storm who would open the scoring, despite the early Windsor pressure. Ryan Merkley potted his 10th goal of the year, on a feed from Givani Smtih.

That was it for scoring in the middle frame, and the Storm would enter the second intermission with a 1-0 lead while being outshot 23-11.

Entering the third the Spitfires looked to turn up the pressure in quest of beating Popovich, and they would do just that six minutes into the period on Mikhail Sergachev’s ninth of the season.

Not done yet, Windsor took the lead for the first time just under five minutes later on Jeremiah Addison’s 23rd of the year.

In the dying moments of the game, the Spitfires would seal the victory on Luke Boka’s 11th goal of the year.

Popovich made 28 saves in the loss, while DiPietro turned away 15 shots in the win.

With the loss, the Storm fall to 19-31-3-2, and the win improves the Spitfires to 35-13-5-3, as the officially secure a playoff spot in the Western Conference.

The Storm return home on Monday afternoon for the annual RBC Family Day game, when they host the Flint Firebirds. Following the game fans can participate in the 2017 Skate with the Storm followed by a star performance featuring world championship skaters, for more information click here.

For tickets, visit the Storm Box Office located on the second floor in the Old Quebec St. Shoppes, call 519-837-9690, or online here!

GAME NOTES

  • This was the final game of the season series, with the Windsor Spitfires winning the series 3-1.

Guelph Storm 1 at Windsor Spitfires 3 – Status: Final
Saturday, February 18, 2017 – WFCU Centre

Guelph 0 1 0 – 1
Windsor 0 0 3 – 3

1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-No Penalties

2nd Period-1, Guelph, Merkley 10 (Smith), 10:24. Penalties-Smith Gue (hooking), 4:29; Laishram Wsr (tripping), 14:48.

3rd Period-2, Windsor, Sergachev 9   5:51. 3, Windsor, Addison 23 (Brown, McEneny), 10:08. 4, Windsor, Boka 11 (Luchuk, McEneny), 17:55. Penalties-DiGiacinto Wsr (check to the head, game misc-check to head), 2:58; Hotchkiss Gue (hooking), 4:17; Moncada Gue (hooking), 11:20.

Shots on Goal-Guelph 5-6-5-16. Windsor 9-14-8-31.
Power Play Opportunities-Guelph 0 / 3; Windsor 0 / 2.
Goalies-Guelph, Popovich 6-13-0-1 (31 shots-28 saves). Windsor, DiPietro 27-8-4-2 (16 shots-15 saves).
A-6,168
Referees-Len Wood (2), Ben Wilson (32).
Linesmen-Brady Fagan (70), Justin Tang (80).

 

3 STARS

  1. WSR Mikhail Sergachev
  2. WSR Austin McEneny
  3. GUE Anthony Popovich
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