After losing a late lead for the second night in a row, a resilient Guelph Storm bounced back with an overtime winner by rookie defenceman Matt Finn to grab a 3-2 win in Kitchener.
For the second night in a row, the Storm jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first period. Zack Mitchell opened the scoring with a nice individual effort bulling his way around Kitchener blueliner Jonathan Jasper before sliding the puck under Brandon Mitchell. Cody McNaughton and Finn picked up assists on Mitchell’s third of the year.
The 1-0 lead looked like it might carry into the third period thanks to some outstanding netminding by Brandon Foote. Kitchener registered 18 of the first 22 shots before Jason Akeson finally solved Foote after grabbing the puck high in the Guelph zone and snapping it home with just 23 seconds remaining. Instead of settling for the 1-1 tie after 40, winger Tyler Carroll scored a huge goal to restore the one goal advantage for the visitors with a wrist shot from inside the circle with only a second remaining in the stanza.
After a one-sided second, the two clubs exchanged chances in an evenly played final period. Guelph’s one goal lead looked like it might be enough until Jamie Doornbosch scored with the Rangers’ net empty to even the score at two and send the game to overtime. In the extra frame, Guelph decided it early when Finn pinched backdoor to grab a long Maxwell rebound and bang it home at the 1:04 mark.
The same two clubs will hit the ice roughly 16 hours after finishing Friday night’s overtime contest. On Saturday afternoon at 2 pm, the Rangers will head to the Sleeman Centre for the return engagement, with the Storm looking to sweep both ends of the home-and-home.
Guelph Storm 3 (OT) at Kitchener Rangers 2 – Status: Final OT
Friday, December 17, 2010 – Kitchener Memorial Auditorium
Guelph 1 1 0 1 – 3
Kitchener 0 1 1 0 – 2
1st Period-1, Guelph, Mitchell 3 (McNaughton, Finn), 6:55. Penalties-Menard Gue (hooking), 4:09; McNaughton Gue (high sticking), 10:11; Lopes Kit (hooking), 16:54.
2nd Period-2, Kitchener, Akeson 15 19:37. 3, Guelph, Carroll 15 19:59. Penalties-Jasper Kit (interference), 1:05; Doornbosch Kit (interference), 8:38; Beck Gue (tripping, unsportsmanlike cnd.), 9:25; Lofquist Gue (hooking), 10:46.
3rd Period-4, Kitchener, Doornbosch 13 (Akeson, Catenacci), 19:15. Penalties-Mitchell Gue (boarding), 13:56.
OT Period-5, Guelph, Finn 2 (Holland, Beck), 1:04. Penalties-No Penalties
Shots on Goal-Guelph 14-5-11-3-33. Kitchener 10-19-12-0-41.
Power Play Opportunities-Guelph 0 / 3; Kitchener 0 / 6.
Goalies-Guelph, Foote 11-10-4-1 (41 shots-39 saves). Kitchener, Maxwell 15-5-2-0 (33 shots-30 saves).
Referees-Ryan Carroll (9), Joel Washkurak (30).
Linesmen-Garrett Rank (87), Frank Rocca (38).