By Eric Balnar, Guelphstorm.com
A different game, a different hero, but the same result.
Tyler Bertuzzi’s five-point night and Robby Fabbri’s hat-trick powered an explosive Guelph Storm attack en route to a dominating 6-3 win over the Kitchener Rangers on Friday night.
The Storm has now won nine straight at home, remain undefeated at home and showed the rest of the country why the are #2 in the CHL Top 10 rankings.
“It’s good to have a [night like that] to get the confidence up. Fabbri and I had some chemistry going,” says Bertuzzi.
The Storm seems to find a different offensive hero every game. On Wednesday it was a three-point performance from Ryan Horvat. Tonight Guelph got a hat trick from Fabbri, a rare two goals from defenseman Ben Harpur and an sensational 5-point-game from Bertuzzi.
“Guys will get streaky and guys will struggle. Right now we’re really spreading out the scoring and guys are contributing all over,” says head coach Scott Walker.
Guelph was quick to jump on the attack vs. Kitchener. After a flurry of opening minute chances, Ben Harpur found the back of the net only 59 seconds into the game.
The Storm kept up the pressure, adding another Harpur goal at the 14 minute mark of the opening period
Then the Fabbri and Bertuzzi show began.
Fabbri dipped and dazzled his way around defenders all night long creating chances at ease.
Bertuzzi was powerful along the boards and creative with his passes, serving as the point man for all three of Fabbri’s goals and one of Harpur’s. He capped off his evening by scoring shorthanded on a penalty shot in front of a screaming standing room only crowd at the Sleeman Centre.
“I was pretty nervous before,” says Bertuzzi of his goal. “I asked the guys what do. They said low blocker and I just went high.”
Guelph played a pretty first 40 minutes. They were disciplined, Justin Nichols was perfect in net, they were strong on the boards and were leading 5-0.
The third period was anything but beautiful.
The Storm took plenty of penalties, including a five-minute major to Fabbri, conceded a shorthanded goal and made a some silly mistakes. All-in-all it put a slight damper on an otherwise good performance.
Storm forward Justin Auger says this needs to change if the Storm want to keep their winning ways.
“We want to focus on playing the full sixty and we kind of let it get out of hand,” says Auger.
For now, Guelph will just enjoy another victory.
They improve their record to 14-3, extend their winning streak to nine games and will look to make it double digits on Sunday vs. the Sudbury Wolves.
Kitchener 0 0 3 – 3
Guelph 3 2 1 – 6
Scoring: 1, Guelph, Harpur 2 (Baltisberger, Mitchell), 0:59. 2, Guelph, Harpur 3 (Fabbri, Bertuzzi), 14:04. 3, Guelph, Fabbri 8 (Bertuzzi), 14:40.
Penalties: Davies Kit (tripping), 3:33; Thomson Kit (unsportsmanlike cnd.), 16:55; Kosmachuk Gue (interference), 18:54.
Scoring: 4, Guelph, Fabbri 9 (Bertuzzi), 8:45. 5, Guelph, Fabbri 10 (Bertuzzi, McGinn), 19:17.
Penalties-Iafrate Kit (check to the head), 14:20; McGinn Gue (slashing), 14:20; Fanelli Kit (boarding), 14:45.
Scoring:6, Kitchener, Thomson 2 (Faksa), 0:29. 7, Guelph, Bertuzzi 5 6:50 (PS). 8, Kitchener, Llewellyn 5 (Hora, Meighan), 9:21 (PP). 9, Kitchener, Pedersen 2 (Hora, Bailey), 14:45 (SH).
Penalties-Fabbri Gue (check to the head, game misc-check to head), 4:29; Pedersen Kit (roughing), 4:44; Horvat Gue (roughing), 4:44; Finn Gue (roughing), 7:57; Marcantuoni Kit (slashing), 8:16; Gilbert Kit (check from behind, check from behind), 12:01; Thomson Kit (roughing), 12:01; Bertuzzi Gue (roughing), 12:01; Fanelli Kit (check from behind), 18:56.
Shots on Goal-Kitchener 11-10-17-38. Guelph 21-14-5-40.
Power Play Opportunities-Kitchener 1 / 3; Guelph 0 / 6.
Goalies-Kitchener, Teichmann 3-5-0-0 (17 shots-14 saves); DeKort 1-8-0-0 (23 shots-20 saves). Guelph, Nichols 11-1-0-0 (38 shots-35 saves).
Referees-Mike Cairns (34), Korey Bannerman (15).
Linesmen-Kevin Hastings (61), Shandor Alphonso (85).