On Wednesday night the Guelph Storm travelled west to Sarnia to face the Sting in a midweek contest for the team’s first meeting of the season. Looking to get back into the win column, the Storm looked towards veteran Liam Herbst while the Sting countered with rookie Aidan Hughes. It was a hard fought battle but Sarnia would prevail with a narrow 5-4 victory.
It was a rare midweek matchup for the Storm, but that didn’t stop them from getting on the board early, as Isaac Ratcliffe continued his hot streak scoring just over a minute into the game.
At the 12-minute mark of the period, Givani Smith was awarded a penalty shot but was denied by Hughes on the attempt.
As the period continued both sides had their fair share of chances but were unable to capitalize on the chances until Adam Ruzicka scored for the Sting to tie the game with just over four minutes to go in the period.
After 20 minutes of play, the game was tied at one, while the Storm outshot the home side 12-11.
Deadlocked after 20 minutes, but sides upped the ante increasing the pace, and it would be Sarnia to get the early goal this time when Nikita Korostelev found the back of the net just 1:50 into the second period.
Just two minutes later the Sting would add to their lead when Adam Ruzicka scored on the power play for his second of the game.
There was no shortage of offence as the Sting would score again at the 7:45 mark as Anthony Salinitri beat Herbst to extend the lead to three goals.
Down 4-1 before the halfway point of the game, the pesky Storm continued to push back and would cut into the lead when Ratcliffe notched his second of the game nine minutes into the period.
In the dying minutes of the middle frame, the Storm would head to the penalty kill and the home team capitalized on Korostelev’s second of the game.
With 40 minutes in the books, the Storm trailed 5-2 after despite outshooting the Sting 29-18.
With the odds stacked against them, the Storm would need a big third period to come back from the three-goal deficit. And they did just that, as rookie Ryan Merkley beat Hughes with a wraparound goal just two minutes into the period.
Both teams would trade special team opportunities but the score remained 5-3 heading into the dying minutes of the final frame.
As the game approached the final buzzer, the Storm pulled Herbst to bring on the extra attacker, helping amplify the pressure in the Sting zone, leading to Merkley finding the back of the net for his second of the game.
This was as close as the Storm would get as they would run out of time, falling 5-4 despite dominating shots, outshooting Sarnia 49-26.
Herbst made 21 saves in the loss, while Hughes made 45 for his second win in the OHL
With the loss, the Storm fall to 10-16-2-1 and the Sting improve to 16-10-3-0
The Storm return home on Friday night for the next installment of the Highway Six rivalry hosting divisional rivals, the Owen Sound Attack. Puck drop is slated for 7:30pm at the Sleeman Centre.
- With two goals on the night, Isaac Ratcliffe has now scored in his past four contests.
- James McEwan extended his point streak to three games.
- Tonight marked the first multi-goal game for Ryan Merkley.
- This was the first of four meetings between the teams this season, the next game will take place on December 28 at the Sleeman Centre.
Guelph Storm 4 at Sarnia Sting 5 – Status: Final
Wednesday, December 7, 2016 – Progressive Auto Sales Arena
Guelph 1 1 2 – 4
Sarnia 1 4 0 – 5
1st Period-1, Guelph, Ratcliffe 13 (Smith), 1:04. 2, Sarnia, Ruzicka 11 (Spinozzi, Lajeunesse), 15:45. Penalties-Smith Gue (interference), 9:41; Bricknell Gue (tripping), 16:49.
2nd Period-3, Sarnia, Korostelev 16 (Stos, Hinz), 1:50. 4, Sarnia, Ruzicka 12 (Salinitri, Korostelev), 3:42 (PP). 5, Sarnia, Salinitri 12 (Ruzicka, Helt), 7:45. 6, Guelph, Ratcliffe 14 (Smith, McEwan), 9:10. 7, Sarnia, Korostelev 17 (Salinitri, Ruzicka), 18:41 (PP). Penalties-Smith Gue (slashing), 2:44; Spinozzi Sar (check to the head), 12:21; Hotchkiss Gue (cross checking), 18:10.
3rd Period-8, Guelph, Merkley 3 2:11. 9, Guelph, Merkley 4 (Samorukov), 18:50. Penalties-Carroll Gue (slashing), 4:49; Sproviero Sar (tripping), 12:19.
Shots on Goal-Guelph 12-17-20-49. Sarnia 11-8-7-26.
Power Play Opportunities-Guelph 0 / 2; Sarnia 2 / 5.
Goalies-Guelph, Herbst 7-11-2-1 (26 shots-21 saves). Sarnia, Hughes 2-3-1-0 (49 shots-45 saves).
Referees-Scott Ferguson (35), Andy Howard (33).
Linesmen-Tyler Callander (94), Nicholas Bet (76).
- SAR Adam Ruzicka
- SAR Nikita Korostelev
- GUE Isaac Ratcliffe
- This week the Storm play at home on Friday, December 9 against the Owen Sound Attack and on Sunday, December 11, versus the Kingston Frontenacs, giving Storm fans the chance to take advantage of the Weekend Pass ticket deal! For more information on the Weekend Pass deal, click here!
- December 11 vs. Kingston Frontenacs: The annual Teddy Bear Toss games sponsored by Brent Johnson of Wellington Motors, Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Fiat, for more information, click here! For tickets call or visit the Storm Box Office in Old Quebec St. Shoppes, (519) 837-9690 or online HERE!
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The 2016-17 Season is proudly presented by RBC.