There was no shortage of excitement at the Sleeman Centre on Friday night.
In a game that fans love but coaches can live without, the Guelph Storm rallied, downing the Barrie Colts in a 5-4 win in overtime. Down 3-1 before the seven minute mark of the first period, and later chasing a 4-3 score with 20 minutes remaining, the Storm didn’t make it easy but certainly earned the two points.
Third-year forward Isaac Ratcliffe led the way offensively, recording a three point night with one goal and two assists for first star honours. Rookie Cam Hillis wasn’t far behind with two goals in the win as the game’s second star.
For the Colts, Jason Willms, Curtis Douglas, and Ryan Suzuki all tallied two point nights with one goal and one assist each.
Between the pipes, Storm netminder Anthony Popovich deserves honourable mention after a tough opening, turned things around quickly to make a total of 40 saves on the night. At the other end of the rink, Leo Lazarev made 21 of 26 saves in the loss.
To start, the teams exchanged early goals with the Colts opening the first period’s flood gates just 1:23 into the game. Responding, Hillis recorded his ninth of the season exactly two minutes later.
The Colts struck twice more before the end of the first however, with Willms and Alexey Lipanov putting the Storm down by two before the seven minute mark of the opening frame.
Using special teams to turn things around, the Storm took advantage of the game’s first two penalties awarded to Barrie’s Zachary Magwood for high sticking, followed by Christopher Cameron for tripping to net things up at three-a-piece before the end of the first period. Once again, it was Hillis responding with his second of the game off a rebound, with Ratcliffe taking advantage of a nice feed from Garrett McFadden on the tying marker four minutes later.
After a total of six goals were scored in the first 20 minutes, the second period saw just one goal as Suzuki grabbed his second of the season off of a scramble in front of Popovich to put the Colts back out front heading into the third.
The Storm quickly set the tone as Barret Kirwin tied things up for the third time for the Storm, lobbying a puck on net for his fourth of the season at the 1:33 point of the period.
Even with chances at both ends throughout the remainder of regulation, while also including a strong four-minute penalty kill by the Storm nearing the halfway mark of the third with McFadden in the box for high sticking, the game required extra time.
Not much time, though, as Cedric Ralph netted his seventh of the season off a backhand pass from Ryan Merkley to close out the 5-4 victory just 55 seconds in.
The Storm are right back in action on Saturday night, visiting the Owen Sound Attack for a 7:30pm puck drop.
Barrie Colts 4 at Guelph Storm 5 (OT) – Status: Final OT
Friday, November 24, 2017 – Sleeman Centre
Barrie 3 1 0 0 – 4
Guelph 3 0 1 1 – 5
1st Period-1, Barrie, Douglas 6 (Willms), 1:23. 2, Guelph, Hillis 9 (Woolley, Ratcliffe), 3:23. 3, Barrie, Willms 12 (Brown, Douglas), 4:12. 4, Barrie, Lipanov 8 (Suzuki, Peca), 6:52. 5, Guelph, Hillis 10 (Ratcliffe, Merkley), 11:34 (PP). 6, Guelph, Ratcliffe 11 (McFadden, McEwan), 15:49 (PP). Penalties-Magwood Bar (high sticking), 10:57; Cameron Bar (tripping), 14:54; Merkley Gue (slashing), 17:27; Murray Bar (interference), 18:45.
2nd Period-7, Barrie, Suzuki 2 10:16. Penalties-Hawel Gue (inter. on goaltender), 1:32; served by Poirier Gue (too many men), 11:17.
3rd Period–8, Guelph, Kirwin 4 1:33. Penalties-McFadden Gue (high sticking, high sticking), 8:42; served by Douglas Bar (too many men), 18:33.
OT Period–9, Guelph, Ralph 7 (Merkley, McFadden), 0:55. Penalties-No Penalties
Shots on Goal-Barrie 17-15-12-0-44. Guelph 9-13-3-1-26.
Power Play Opportunities-Barrie 0 / 5; Guelph 2 / 3.
Goalies-Barrie, Lazarev 10-5-2-0 (26 shots-21 saves). Guelph, Popovich 11-7-1-1 (44 shots-40 saves).
Referees-Mike Cairns (34), Tom Sweeney (12).
Linesmen-Jean-Francois Menard (52), Brady Fagan (70).