The Storm’s playoff push got a big boost on Sunday afternoon thanks to a 5-3 win at the Sleeman Centre over the eighth place Erie Otters.
Shots on goal were even at 15 apiece in the opening period, but quality scoring chances were one-sided in the visitors favour. Brandon Foote was definitely the story in the early going, keeping his team in the contest when they needed him most. In the first two and a half minutes, Foote stoned Zack Torquato on the doorstep and then turned aside GMHA grad Mike Cazzola on a clear breakaway with a glove save. The Otters would finally solve the Storm netminder with a powerplay goal by Torquato, but only after he made two stops from in close. Guelph would come back to tie the game at one with a powerplay goal of their own just under eight minutes later. After Cody McNaughton’s shot was kicked out to Matt Sisca at the side of the net, Adam Courchaine would turn aside Sisca’s first attempt, before he grabbed his own rebound, sliding his stick between his legs and flipping it over a sprawling Courchaine. The Otters would grab their second lead of the afternoon with the clubs playing four-on-four on a point shot through traffic by David Shields.
Erie’s overage captain Torquato would lift Erie to a two goal lead early in the second with his second of the game and 23rd of the year. Greg McKegg would get the play started with a slapshot on the fly that Foote got a piece of to steer behind the net. Torquato would jump on the rebound off the end wall and quickly tuck it behind Foote before he could recover. Mid-way through the period, the Storm would slide Taylor Beck onto a line with Michael Latta and Peter Holland and the move would pay off right away. After pinning Erie in their own zone on their first shift together, the threesome cut the lead to 3-2 on a pretty three way passing play that ended with Holland sliding it to Beck at the side of the Erie goal for an easy tap in and his 27th of the season. Shots on goal in the second were 10-9 in favour of the hosts.
The Otters would fire 20 more shots on Foote in the final frame, but the Whitby native was terrific turning aside every one. At the other end, the Storm would add three in the third for the second straight game to complete the comeback. Sam Lofquist extended his six game scoring streak with his third of the season on the powerplay to pull the Storm even for the first time since late in the first on a long one-timer through a maze of players that Courchaine couldn’t find. Minutes later, Latta would put Guelph on top for the first time in the contest. Adam Comrie carried the puck up the ice to start the play and then played give and go with Latta sliding a pass towards the net where the Storm winger poked it under a pile of players. Erie would pull the goalie late in an effort to tie, but Comrie notched his second point of the game flipping a long clearing attempt from inside the Storm zone into the empty net to make it a 5-3 final.
Brandon Foote was named the game’s first star stopping 41 of 44 Erie shots, with Lofquist and Torquato earning second and third star respectively.
The Storm has a busy weekend ahead beginning Thursday night in Windsor versus the Spitfires. One night later, it’s the front end of a critical home-and-home against the Owen Sound Attack with Guelph travelling to Owen Sound on Saturday night. Friday’s home game will be the last game at the Sleeman Centre until Wednesday, February 10th when Tyler Seguin (the number two rated prospect for the 2010 NHL Entry Draft) and the Plymouth Whalers come to town for the second of two ‘Wecession Wednesday’ games with all regular priced lower bowl tickets only $5. For tickets to upcoming Storm games call or visit the Storm box office or buy online at GuelphStorm.com
Erie Otters 3 At Guelph Storm 5 – Status: End of Game
Jan 24, 2010 – Sleeman Centre
Erie 2 1 0 – 3
Guelph 1 1 3 – 5
1st Period-1, Erie, Torquato 22 (McKegg, Gaulton), 6:50 (pp). 2, Guelph, Sisca 23 (McNaughton, Syvret), 14:23 (pp). 3, Erie, Shields 6 (Szydlowski, Luciani), 16:45. Penalties-Szydlowski Er (hooking), 2:01; Carroll Gue (tripping), 5:42; Broll Er (fighting), 9:18; Sandlak Gue (fighting), 9:18; Campbell Gue (delay of game), 9:25; Cazzola Er (inter. on goaltender), 15:08; Cianfrini Er (interference), 15:54; Holland Gue (interference), 16:02.
2nd Period-4, Erie, Torquato 23 (McKegg, Cianfrini), 4:56. 5, Guelph, Beck 27 (Holland, Latta), 10:13. Penalties-Sandlak Gue (hooking), 1:38; Cianfrini Er (cross checking), 16:41; McNaughton Gue (tripping), 19:05; Szydlowski Er (roughing), 19:40; VanLaren Gue (roughing), 19:40.
3rd Period-6, Guelph, Lofquist 3 (Beck, Holland), 6:22 (pp). 7, Guelph, Latta 19 (Beck, Comrie), 8:05. 8, Guelph, Comrie 7 (O’Donnell), 19:18 (en). Penalties-Sisca Gue (hooking), 3:29; Cianfrini Er (holding), 6:08; Gaulton Er (slashing), 8:56; Campbell Gue (interference), 11:11.
Shots on Goal-Erie 15-9-0-24. Guelph 15-10-3-28.
Power Play Opportunities-Erie 1 of 6; Guelph 2 of 6.
Goalies-Erie, Courchaine 10-18-1-1 (27 shots-23 saves). Guelph, Foote 4-2-0-0 (24 shots-21 saves).
Referees-Sean Bernard (33), Scott Ferguson (35).
Linesmen-Dustin McCrank (68), Dave Pfohl (96).