The Guelph Storm found the way back to the win-column on Saturday, taking a 5-2 victory over Highway 7 rivals, the Kitchener Rangers.
Storm sophomore Nate Schnarr recorded two goals in the contest to earn first star honours, while James McEwan (one goal, one assist), Zach Poirier (two assists), and Ryan Merkley (two assists) all tallied two-point nights.
Recording firsts on the night were rookies Cam Hillis with his first OHL tally, and Keegan Stevenson posting his first OHL point.
Storm goaltender Anthony Popovich was between the pipes once again, turning aside 29 of 31 shots in the win. At the other end of the ice, Luke Richardson got the nod for the Rangers, making 27 of 31 saves.
Things got started pretty quickly thanks to Schnarr’s first of the season as McEwan found the Arizona Coyotes prospect in the slot to make it a 1-0 game 15 seconds in.
Just over five minutes later, Schnarr struck again. With a developing three-on-two, Poirier fed Merkley, sending a cross-ice pass to Schnarr who made no mistake for his second of the game.
The quick offence paused through to the 5:16 mark of the middle frame when McEwan netted his first of the season, ripping a shot top shelf from the top of the face-off circle to make it a 3-0 game in favour of the home squad.
With under four minutes remaining in the second, the Rangers began to crawl back as Adam Liška took a drop pass for a quick release, beating Popovich and getting the broadway blue on the board.
Moving into the final 20 minutes, Logan Stanley pulled the Rangers to within one, capitalizing on a puck alone in front making it a 3-2 game at the 8:23 point of the period.
Responding in the latter half of the frame was Cedric Ralph, picking up the puck off a battle behind the net to walk in and grab the insurance marker for the Storm.
For good measure, Storm rookie Cam Hillis rounded out the 5-2 score, pocketing the empty net goal mid-fall with less than two minutes remaining for his first OHL goal.
The Storm return to action on the road, visiting the Flint Firebirds on Wednesday. Two days later on Friday, October 13, the Storm are back at home, hosting the Niagara IceDogs. Purchase tickets for the game online here, by calling (519) 837-9690, or in person at the Storm Box Office in Old Quebec Street Mall.
- Second-year forward Nate Schnarr recorded his first and second goals of the season in the first period of the game, while also registering his first career two-goal game.
- Rookie Cam Hillis netted his first OHL goal with the empty net marker at the 18:34 point of the third.
- Rookie Keegan Stevenson recorded his first career OHL point on Cedric Ralph’s third period goal.
- James McEwan (one goal, one assist), Zach Poirier (two assists), and Ryan Merkley (two assists) all recorded two-point nights.
- Goaltender Anthony Popovich made his sixth straight start.
Kitchener Rangers 2 at Guelph Storm 5 – Status: Final
Saturday, October 7, 2017 – Sleeman Centre
Kitchener 0 1 1 – 2
Guelph 2 1 2 – 5
1st Period–1, Guelph, Schnarr 1 (McEwan, Poirier), 0:15. 2, Guelph, Schnarr 2 (Merkley, Poirier), 5:25. Penalties-Hall Kit (interference), 4:10; McFadden Gue (interference), 12:17; Stanley Kit (interference), 13:42; McFadden Gue (interference), 19:10.
2nd Period–3, Guelph, McEwan 1 (Woolley, Shoemaker), 5:16. 4, Kitchener, Liška 2 (Hugg), 16:20. Penalties-Gentles Kit (roughing), 2:24; Poirier Gue (roughing), 2:24; Merkley Gue (slashing), 6:21; Merkley Gue (tripping), 9:16; Hall Kit (interference), 19:48.
3rd Period-5, Kitchener, Stanley 3 (Liška, Hugg), 8:23. 6, Guelph, Ralph 2 (Stevenson, Kirwin), 14:42. 7, Guelph, Hillis 1 (Merkley, Ratcliffe), 18:34 (EN). Penalties-Lalonde Gue (holding), 14:53.
Shots on Goal-Kitchener 5-14-12-31. Guelph 12-10-10-32.
Power Play Opportunities-Kitchener 0 / 5; Guelph 0 / 3.
Goalies-Kitchener, Richardson 0-2-1-0 (31 shots-27 saves). Guelph, Popovich 3-2-0-1 (31 shots-29 saves).
Referees-Joe Celestin (4), Scott Ferguson (35).
Linesmen-Tyson Baker (79), Dave Pfohl (96).