Sunday evening in Erie, the Storm took care of business in a 6-4 win over the Otters to pull two points clear of the Soo Greyhounds in their pursuit of a 20th straight appearance in the OHL Playoffs.
Brock McGinn continued his solid play since returning from injury. The Fergus native scored two times in the first half of the contest to spot the Storm to a 3-0 before the visitors buckled up for a wild finish that saw seven goals in the last 30 minutes.
The Otters cut the Guelph lead to just one at 4-3 and 5-4 before Zack Mitchell iced the game with an empty net goal at 19:23 of the third. Leading the way offensively for the Storm was Scott Kosmachuk with a goal and two assists. Matt Finn and rookie Hunter Garlent also chipped in with two points apiece.
Cody McNaughton returned to the lineup after a three game absence due to injury.
Wedneday night, the Storm will host the Otters at the Sleeman Centre at 7 pm before a third straight home-and-home series that begins on Friday night in Guelph versus the Owen Sound Attack. One night later, the Storm will travel to Owen Sound to wrap up their 2011-12 regular season.
Guelph Storm 6 at Erie Otters 4 – Status: End of Game
Sunday, March 11, 2012 – Tullio Arena
Guelph 2 2 2 – 6
Erie 0 1 3 – 4
1st Period-1, Guelph, McGinn 11 (Kosmachuk, Finn), 15:24 (PP). 2, Guelph, Garlent 14 (Pereira), 17:28. Penalties-McCarthy Er (interference), 0:20; Kosmachuk Gue (tripping), 0:35; Harper Er (hooking), 3:04; Kosmachuk Gue (interference), 4:56; Pelech Er (tripping), 14:53.
2nd Period-3, Guelph, McGinn 12 (Kosmachuk, Finn), 10:11 (PP). 4, Erie, Eisenberg 3 (McCarthy), 10:58. 5, Guelph, Dickinson 12 (Gaskin), 19:20. Penalties-Donnay Er (interference), 1:23; Pereira Gue (holding), 6:02; Evans Er (slashing), 8:49; McNaughton Gue (roughing), 18:49; Maaskant Er (roughing), 18:49.
3rd Period-6, Erie, Fox 22 (Pelech, Cairns), 4:02 (PP). 7, Erie, Cortellessa 7 (Pelech, Brown), 5:11 (PP). 8, Guelph, Kosmachuk 29 (Garlent), 15:20. 9, Erie, Evans 11 16:52. 10, Guelph, Mitchell 34 19:23 (EN). Penalties-Menard Gue (tripping), 0:19; Pedan Gue (fighting), 0:19; McCarthy Er (instigator, fighting, misc-instigating), 0:19; Kosmachuk Gue (high sticking, high sticking), 3:12; Finn Gue (roughing), 4:57; Harper Er (roughing), 4:57.
Shots on Goal-Guelph 11-11-8-30. Erie 9-11-15-35.
Power Play Opportunities-Guelph 2 / 5; Erie 2 / 5.
Goalies-Guelph, Sparks 24-25-1-3 (35 shots-31 saves). Erie, Cesario 1-1-0-0 (29 shots-24 saves).
Referees-David Gauthier (28), Steve Picco (41).
Linesmen-Rick Janco (46), Mike Harrington (90).