Ratcliffe, Storm down Spirit for second straight win

In the midst of a three-in-three weekend, the Guelph Storm have now pocketed back-to-back 2-1 wins after downing the Saginaw Spirit on Saturday night.

Following a 2-1 victory over the Hamilton Bulldogs on Friday in Guelph, the Storm mirrored the effort in Saginaw – this time with star power leading the way as Philadelphia Flyers prospect, Isaac Ratcliffe, registered both goals in the victory, earning the game’s first star. Also recognized with second star honours was Arizona Coyotes prospect, Nate Schnarr, who tallied two assists.

In a fairly disciplined game – with only four penalties called in total – the Storm’s special teams came out successful, killing off both penalties, while going 1/2 on the power play.

In the blue paint, Storm netminder Anthony Popovich was given the nod for the second straight night following a first-star performance on Friday against the Bulldogs. Continuing the solid play, Popovich was near perfect in the win, turning aside 31 of 32 shots. For the Spirit, Evan Cormier was between the pipes, making 28 of 30 saves on the night.

To start the game, the Storm found an early advantage as the Spirit were awarded a too-many-men penalty just 50 seconds into the first period. On the power play, Garrett McFadden carried the puck up ice with speed, leaving it for Liam Hawel just inside Saginaw’s zone. From there, Hawel fed Schnarr in the slot who put it on net for Ratcliffe to redirect, making it a 1-0 game just 2:35 into the frame.

Following the goal, the Storm continued to pressure with a few more scoring opportunities, but it would be the Spirit’s Cormier coming up with saves to keep it a one-goal contest heading into the second period.

Looking to the mid-way point of the middle frame, the Spirit turned the puck over on the half-boards with the puck finding Ratcliffe all alone in front, who made no mistake for his second of the game and fourth of the season.

At the other end of the ice, Popovich would come up with several big saves through the latter half of the second period, allowing the visiting squad to head into the final 20 minutes with the 2-0 lead in tact.

Unsuccessful through most of the third period – including a power play with under five minutes remaining – the Spirit were pressing in the final minutes, finally getting on the board with the extra attacker on as a point shot from Keaton Middleton gave a rebound out to Damien Giroux with less than two minutes on the clock.

That would be it for the Spirit, however, as the Storm walked away with their second 2-1 victory in just as many nights.

The Storm are right back in action on Sunday afternoon visiting the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds for a 2:07pm puck drop.

Guelph Storm 2 at Saginaw Spirit 1 – Status: Final
Saturday, October 21, 2017 – Dow Event Center

Guelph 1 1 0 – 2
Saginaw 0 0 1 – 1

1st Period1, Guelph, Ratcliffe 3 (Schnarr, Hawel), 2:35 (PP). Penalties-served by Katic Sag (too many men), 0:50; Penman Sag (holding), 15:15.

2nd Period2, Guelph, Ratcliffe 4 (Schnarr), 10:22. Penalties-Hawel Gue (cross checking), 11:40; McEwan Gue (hooking), 16:30.

3rd Period-3, Saginaw, Giroux 4 (Middleton, Crawford), 18:32. Penalties-No Penalties

Shots on GoalGuelph 13-7-10-30. Saginaw 13-9-10-32.
Power Play OpportunitiesGuelph 1 / 2; Saginaw 0 / 2.
GoaliesGuelph, Popovich 5-4-0-1 (32 shots-31 saves). Saginaw, Cormier 2-5-1-0 (30 shots-28 saves).
Referees-Len Wood (2), Ben Moser (18).
Linesmen-Scott Lawson (98), Brady Fagan (70).

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The 2017-18 Season is proudly presented by RBC.

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