Storm shut out by Battalion
by Matt Pelkey
The next time the Guelph Storm will suit up for a game will be this Sunday, and that day can’t come soon enough for them.
The Storm dropped their fifth straight game as they were blanked 4-0 by the North Bay Battalion Friday evening at the Sleeman Centre..
It was the seventh time this season that Guelph (9-31-4-2) has been shutout.
In a game that was dominated by the visitors from start to finish, Mathew Santos (2g, 1a), Michael Amadio (2a) and goaltender Jake Smith led the way for the Battalion (24-16-2-4) on an evening the Storm will be quick to forget.
When it looked as if it were going to be a scoreless opening period, things quickly changed with 1:17 remaining.
At the left corner in the Storm zone, North Bay’s Amadio fired a pass to a wide open Cam Dineen, who was streaking down the middle of the ice, and redirected the puck past Michael Giugovaz to give the Battalion a 1-0 lead after the first period.
The late goal would clearly have an effect on both teams in the middle frame, as the visitors dominated entirely throughout.
Just 4:07 into the second period, the Battalion increased their lead to 2-0 when Amadio once again found a teammate cutting to the net. This time, Amadio fed the puck to Santos who one-timed the puck past the glove of Giugovaz and into the net.
Shortly after making it 2-0, the visitors quickly made it 3-0.
Max Kislinger jammed a loose puck in the crease across the line 1:05 later as the Battalion took a commading three-goal lead.
In the third period, North Bay shut down anything and everything Guelph could develop.
The Storm’s best chance of the period came when rookie Isaac Ratcliffe was awarded a penalty shot. Ratcliffe faked forehand before dragging the puck on his backhand and shooting it into the glove of a sprawling Smith.
The Battalion would add an empty-netter, Santos’ second of the game, on a Storm power play with 3:36 remaining to seal the deal and make it 4-0, the final score.
Giugovaz made 33 saves while Smith turned aside all 20 shots for his first shutout of the season.
Final shots were 36-20 for North Bay.
The Storm are back in action this Sunday, January 31 when they hit the road to Saginaw for a battle against the Spirit. Puck drop is scheduled for 4:00 p.m.
– Tonight’s game was the second and final meeting of the season between the two teams. North Bay won the season series 2-0.
– Storm forward Marc Stevens returned to the lineup after missing the last 31 games with a knee injury.
– Guelph has now been shutout 7 times this season. Last season they were blanked 3 times.
– The Storm have now lost 5 straight games.
North Bay Battalion 4 at Guelph Storm 0 – Status: Final
Friday, January 29, 2016 – Sleeman Centre
North Bay 1 2 1 – 4
Guelph 0 0 0 – 0
1st Period-1, North Bay, Dineen 11 (Amadio, Santos), 18:43. Penalties-Dineen Nb (delay of game), 15:39; Ball Nb (roughing), 19:35; Bricknell Gue (roughing), 19:35.
2nd Period-2, North Bay, Santos 16 (Amadio, Wood), 4:07. 3, North Bay, Kislinger 5 (McKenzie, Shankar), 5:12. Penalties-West Gue (tripping, kneeing), 11:02.
3rd Period-4, North Bay, Santos 17 16:24 (EN). Penalties-McEwan Gue (tripping), 0:28; Sherman Nb (cross checking), 14:06; Lyle Nb (tripping), 16:08; Philips Gue (slashing), 18:41.
Shots on Goal-North Bay 9-11-16-36. Guelph 7-8-6-21.
Power Play Opportunities-North Bay 0 / 4; Guelph 0 / 3.
Goalies-North Bay, Smith 18-12-2-1 (21 shots-21 saves). Guelph, Giugovaz 11-6-5-2 (35 shots-32 saves).
Referees-Seth Ferguson (39), Ryan Moniz (21).
Linesmen-Dave Pfohl (96), Mike Zujko (80).
1) NB Mathew Santos – 2 goals, 1 assist
2) NB Jake Smith – 36-save shutout
3) NB Michael Amadio – 2 assists