Storm tie series up at two with 6-4 win over Rangers
It came down to the wire for the second straight night at the Sleeman Centre, but the Guelph Storm came away with another win, tying up the series at two-a-piece, in a 6-4 final over the Kitchener Rangers on Wednesday.
Anthony Popovich was the game’s first star, making 39 saves in the win, while Liam Hawel potted two goals and an assist, with Isaac Ratcliffe adding two tallies as well.
For the Rangers, Mario Culina was relieved in net just past the halfway mark of the game after allowing four goals on 12 shots. Luke Richardson stepped in, turning away five of six shots through the remaining 27:21 of play. Offensively, Joseph Garreffa led the way with two goals as the game’s third star, while Logan Brown had three helpers.
After 20 minutes of play, the Storm entered the second period down 2-1 after Ratcliffe opened the scoring 6:03 into the contest. Following first period tallies by the Rangers’ Garreffa and Givani Smith, the Storm opened things up in the middle frame, starting with Hawel tying things up at two 1:35 into the period.
Minutes later, Ratcliffe added his second of the game to get the Storm ahead on a long wrist shot, only to have rookie Keegan Stevenson make it 4-2 at the 11:20 mark of the period.
Next up was captain Garrett McFadden, netting the eventual game winner, just short of three minutes later.
Heading into the third period up 5-2, the Storm felt quite the push back from the Rangers, who came within a goal following tallies from Kole Sherwood, and Garreffa on the power play.
Hanging on, including a late penalty kill with under five minutes left on the clock, Hawel potted an empty netter with 1:02 remaining in the game – rounding out the 6-4 final, and giving the Storm their second win in just as many nights.
The series now shifts back to Kitchener on Friday night, while Game Six is right back in Guelph on Sunday afternoon for a 2pm puck drop. Purchase your tickets online here, by calling (519) 837-9690, or in-person at the Storm Box Office in Old Quebec Street Mall.
Kitchener Rangers 4 at Guelph Storm 6 – Status: Final
Wednesday, March 28, 2018 – Sleeman Centre
Kitchener 2 0 2 – 4
Guelph 1 4 1 – 6
1st Period–1, Guelph, Ratcliffe 2 (Hillis, Shoemaker), 6:03. 2, Kitchener, Garreffa 2 (Mascherin, Stanley), 11:17 (PP). 3, Kitchener, Givani Smith 3 (Sherwood, Logan Brown), 13:25.
Penalties-Toropchenko Gue (check from behind), 1:18; Givani Smith Kit (hooking), 7:25; Kirwin Gue (delay of game), 10:49; Stanley Kit (slashing), 19:33.
2nd Period–4, Guelph, Hawel 2 (Merkley, Samorukov), 1:35. 5, Guelph, Ratcliffe 3 (Shoemaker, Woolley), 5:10. 6, Guelph, Stevenson 1 (Merkley, Hillis), 11:20. 7, Guelph, McFadden 2 (Hawel, Stevenson), 14:11.
Penalties-Sherwood Kit (slashing), 17:47; Samorukov Gue (hooking), 19:08.
3rd Period-8, Kitchener, Sherwood 5 (Logan Brown, Bunnaman), 5:46. 9, Kitchener, Garreffa 3 (Mascherin, Logan Brown), 8:01 (PP). 10, Guelph, Hawel 3 (Schnarr), 18:58 (EN).
Penalties-Toropchenko Gue (high sticking), 7:28; McFadden Gue (slashing), 15:41; Logan Brown Kit (roughing), 19:52; Shoemaker Gue (roughing), 19:52.
Shots on Goal-Kitchener 19-9-15-43. Guelph 8-11-1-20.
Power Play Opportunities-Kitchener 2 / 5; Guelph 0 / 3.
Goalies-Kitchener, Culina (13 shots-9 saves); Richardson (6 shots-5 saves). Guelph, Popovich (43 shots-39 saves).
Referees-Scott Oakman (23), Mike Marley (31).
Linesmen-Kevin Hastings (61), Justin Herrington (58).