by Matt Pelkey
Just when things were looking up for the home team Sunday afternoon, the Guelph Storm (1-10-1-0) were hit hard late in the game.
Kingston Frontenacs (9-2-1-1) forward Ryan Verbeek broke a 2-2 tie with just 20.8 seconds remaining in the game as the Storm blew a 2-0 lead and fell 3-2 to the Frontenacs.
Verbeek broke off on a two-on-one before rifling a wrist shot through the legs of Justin Nichols to deliver heartbreak to the Storm and its fans at the Sleeman Centre.
In a spirited, fast-paced game that saw four fights, the Storm, perhaps playing their most complete game of the young season, were leading 2-0 after the first period thanks to quick goals from Givani Smith and James McEwan just 38 seconds apart.
After killing off two early power plays in the period, Guelph finally gave up a goal to the visitors.
The Eastern Conference leading Frontenacs began the comeback when Conor McGlynn beat Nichols with an off-speed backhand shot. On a three-on-two rush, McGlynn received the puck in close and lifted it over the glove of Nichols with 1:10 remaining in the middle frame.
Chad Duchesne, who squared off with Marc Stevens in the first period, evened the score 3:37 into the third period. Duchesne fired a one-timer that sailed through traffic and past a screened Nichols.
Then, with just 20.8 to go in the game, Verbeek netted the winner.
Making the loss harder to swallow was the fact the Storm were leading 2-0 until Kingston scored late in the second.
Smith notched his first of the season to make it 1-0 when he pulled off a slick move around a Frontenacs defender before going backhand-forehand and chipping the puck short-side over the glove of Lucas Peressini.
McEwan increased Guelph’s lead 38 seconds later when he sniped his team-leading sixth goal with a shot off from the right circle off the far post.
The loss extended the Storm’s losing streak to seven games.
Nichols stopped 45 shots in the loss and Peressini finished with 21 saves.
Final shots were 48-23 for the Frontenacs.
With the loss, Guelph falls to 1-10-1-0 while Kingston improves to 9-2-1-1.
The Storm are back in action on Saturday, October 31, when they head down the 401 for a visit with the Windsor Spitfires. Puck drop is slated for 1:05 PM.
– Tonight’s game was the 1st of 2 meetings this season. Last season, the teams split the season series 1-1.
– Entering the game, Guelph was 8-2 in their last 10 games vs Kingston, dating back to the 2010-2011 season.
– Guelph’s Vladislav Barulin finished with a team-high 6 shots; Kingston’s Spencer Watson had a game-high 8 shots.
– Storm forwards Robby Fabbri, Tyler Hill and Luke Burghardt along with defenceman Brock Philips did not play.
– Guelph has now lost 7 straight games.
Kingston Frontenacs 3 at Guelph Storm 2 – Status: Final
Sunday, October 25, 2015 – Sleeman Centre
Kingston 0 1 2 – 3
Guelph 2 0 0 – 2
1st Period-1, Guelph, Smith 1 (McFadden), 15:40. 2, Guelph, McEwan 6 (Hotchkiss, Smith), 16:14. Penalties-Dorval Kgn (roughing), 2:53; Stevens Gue (roughing), 2:53; Steege Kgn (fight-inst. upon), 12:17; Stevens Gue (instigator, fighting, misc-instigating), 12:17; Duchesne Kgn (fighting), 18:33; West Gue (fighting), 18:33; Crouse Kgn (inter. on goaltender, fight-inst. upon), 19:05; McGlynn Kgn (misc-failure to clear zone), 19:05; Hotchkiss Gue (misc-failure to clear zone), 19:05; Smith Gue (instigator, fighting, misc-instigating), 19:05.
2nd Period-3, Kingston, McGlynn 5 (Crouse, Lammikko), 18:50. Penalties-Haussener Gue (holding), 1:09; Garcia Gue (hooking), 6:42; Crouse Kgn (roughing), 14:27; Carroll Gue (tripping), 19:10.
3rd Period-4, Kingston, Duchesne 3 (Steege, McKeown), 3:37. 5, Kingston, Verbeek 1 (Steege, Billitier), 19:39. Penalties-Barulin Gue (tripping), 7:07; Nichol Kgn (fighting, game misc-fight prior to or at puck drop), 9:28; Carroll Gue (fighting, game misc-fight prior to or at puck drop), 9:28.
Shots on Goal-Kingston 14-13-21-48. Guelph 11-4-8-23.
Power Play Opportunities-Kingston 0 / 5; Guelph 0 / 1.
Goalies-Kingston, Peressini 7-1-1-1 (23 shots-21 saves). Guelph, Nichols 1-7-1-0 (48 shots-45 saves).
Referees-Mark McLean (41), Jeff Campbell (16).
Linesmen-Kevin Hastings (61), Mike Harrington (90).
1) GUE Justin Nichols – 45 saves
2) KGN Jared Steege – 2 assists
3) GUE Givani Smith – 1 goal, 1 assist