The Storm’s 4-2 win over the Sarnia Sting on Sunday afternoon sets up a duel for home ice advantage on Wednesday night at the Sleeman Centre. While Guelph was taking care of business in Sarnia, their closest Midwest Division rivals were dropping a 5-3 contest on home ice versus the Soo Greyhounds.
Patrick Watling continued his hot play of late scoring for the second straight game and extending his point streak to four contests. The trio of Watling, Ryan Horvat and Cody McNaughton combined for four points with McNaughton tallying the game winner midway through the middle stanza.
Garret Sparks rebounded from Saturday’s loss with a first star performance against the Sting. The third year netminder tied Ryan MacDonald’s team record for wins in a season with his 35th. Sparks stopped 33 of 35 Sarnia shots, with none bigger than his penalty shot denial against the OHL’s runaway goal scoring leader Reid Boucher in the second with the score knotted at two.
Also scoring for the visitors were Ben Harpur and Tanner Richard with a shorthanded empty net marker while Brock Beukeboom was an impressive +4 on the blueline.
With just three games remaining in the 2012-13 regular season, the Storm sits two points behind the Kitchener Rangers for fourth place in the Western Conference and home ice advantage in the playoffs. Wednesday night, Guelph and Kitchener will square off at the Sleeman Centre for a 7 pm start.
Guelph Storm 4 at Sarnia Sting 2 – Status: Final
Sunday, March 10, 2013 – RBC Centre
Guelph 1 2 1 – 4
Sarnia 1 1 0 – 2
1st Period-1, Sarnia, Boucher 61 (Goldobin, Basso), 17:24. 2, Guelph, Watling 11 (Horvat), 19:32. Penalties-Latta Sar (delay of game), 0:39; McGinn Gue (tripping), 7:26; Harpur Gue (roughing), 9:22; Moore Sar (roughing), 9:22; Kosmachuk Gue (high sticking), 15:18; Fabbri Gue (slashing), 18:54; Chapman Sar (tripping), 18:54; Latta Sar (slashing), 19:35.
2nd Period-3, Sarnia, Boucher 62 (Goldobin, Sarault), 4:42. 4, Guelph, Harpur 3 5:53. 5, Guelph, McNaughton 16 (Garlent, Beukeboom), 12:26. Penalties-Auger Gue (interference), 1:07; Watling Gue (hooking), 1:53; Nemecek Sar (interference, game misc-interference), 6:11; Nikandrov Sar (delay of game), 10:25; Basso Sar (roughing), 11:04; Auger Gue (holding), 13:44.
3rd Period-6, Guelph, Richard 11 (McNaughton), 19:09 (SH EN). Penalties-served by Kosmachuk Gue (too many men), 2:58; Horvat Gue (delay of game), 5:04; Pantziris Sar (tripping), 14:40; Posa Gue (hooking), 17:11; Harpur Gue (slashing), 18:59.
Shots on Goal-Guelph 15-16-12-43. Sarnia 12-14-9-35.
Power Play Opportunities-Guelph 0 / 6; Sarnia 0 / 9.
Goalies-Guelph, Sparks 35-16-0-4 (35 shots-33 saves). Sarnia, Anderson 26-19-0-4 (42 shots-39 saves).
Referees-Pat Myers (40), Ryan Park (10).
Linesmen-Adam Harris (49), Ryan Holmstead (91).