Storm rally, earn 7-5 win over Rangers in Game 3
It was nothing if not exciting at the Sleeman Centre on Tuesday night for Game Three.
With Round One shifting back to Guelph, the Storm managed to rally in the third period, scoring three unanswered goals to earn a 7-5 victory over the Kitchener Rangers, climbing back into the series now 2-1 in favour of the blue shirts.
Veteran Zach Poirier was the game’s first star, netting the game winner and adding an assist in the win, while Isaac Ratcliffe put together a solid performance with three helpers. Cedric Ralph and Nate Schnarr also deserve honourable mention, both recording one goal and one assist each, with rookie Mason Primeau adding two assists on the night as well.
For the Rangers, Kole Sherwood did most of the damage with two goals as the game’s third star.
Between the pipes, Storm netminder Anthony Popovich made 30 saves in the win, while Rangers’ Mario Culina turned away 20 of 26 attempts.
Opening the scoring was the Rangers’ Logan Stanley just 3:08 into the contest, but two goals 5:06 apart first by Garrett McFadden on the power play, with Barret Kirwin following had the Storm up 2-1 in the latter half of the first.
The Rangers responded though, with Sherwood and former Storm forward Givani Smith adding two to make it 3-2 in favour of the visitors heading into the middle frame.
9:29 into the second, Liam Hawel tied the game up at three, only to have Riley Damiani put the Rangers up once again just 40 seconds later.
To end the period, Schnarr netted his second of the playoffs on the man-advantage with just 49 seconds left on the clock, setting the stage for an exciting third period, with the board locked at fours.
A quick goal just 1:58 into the final period by Sherwood made it 5-4 for the Rangers, but the Storm rewrote the game in the final minutes of the frame, starting with less than three minutes remaining.
As the Rangers’ Smith was awarded two minutes for a blind side hit on Ryan Merkley, the Storm’s Alexey Toropchenko capitalized, tying the game at five.
Next up was Poirier tipping a point shot with 1:45 left on the clock, giving the Storm a 6-5 lead.
Ralph put the icing on the cake for the Storm, grabbing the empty netter with 51 seconds left.
The Storm look to build on the win on Wednesday night, hosting the Rangers for Game Four with puck drop at 7pm. Purchase your tickets online here, in person at the Guelph Storm Box Office, or by calling (519) 837-9690.
Kitchener Rangers 5 at Guelph Storm 7 – Status: Final
Tuesday, March 27, 2018 – Sleeman Centre
Kitchener 3 1 1 – 5
Guelph 2 2 3 – 7
1st Period-1, Kitchener, Stanley 1 (Yantsis, Liška), 3:08. 2, Guelph, McFadden 1 (Ratcliffe, Schnarr), 5:20 (PP). 3, Guelph, Kirwin 1 (Primeau), 10:26. 4, Kitchener, Sherwood 3 (Logan Brown, Michael Vukojevic), 13:01. 5, Kitchener, Givani Smith 2 (Logan Brown, Gentles), 16:50.
Penalties-Mascherin Kit (tripping), 5:10.
2nd Period–6, Guelph, Hawel 1 (Poirier, Primeau), 9:29. 7, Kitchener, Damiani 2 (McHugh), 10:09. 8, Guelph, Schnarr 2 (Ratcliffe, Merkley), 19:11 (PP).
Penalties-Givani Smith Kit (roughing), 18:39.
3rd Period-9, Kitchener, Sherwood 4 (York, Gentles), 1:58. 10, Guelph, Toropchenko 1 (Ratcliffe, Merkley), 17:51 (PP). 11, Guelph, Poirier 1 (Shoemaker, Ralph), 18:15. 12, Guelph, Ralph 1 19:09 (EN).
Penalties-Stanley Kit (hooking), 3:31; Merkley Gue (hooking), 9:58; Givani Smith Kit (blindsiding), 15:58; Sherwood Kit (roughing), 19:56; Stanley Kit (slashing), 19:56; Ratcliffe Gue (roughing), 19:56.
Shots on Goal-Kitchener 14-15-6-35. Guelph 6-9-12-27.
Power Play Opportunities-Kitchener 0 / 1; Guelph 3 / 5.
Goalies-Kitchener, Culina (26 shots-20 saves). Guelph, Popovich (35 shots-30 saves).
Referees-Sean Reid (26), Jesse Wilmot (17).
Linesmen-Jean-Francois Menard (52), Mac Nichol (93).