By Tony Saxon, Guelph Mercury – Welcome to the dance.
After a season that at times looked like the Guelph Storm would not make the playoffs, the team officially qualified for the post-season Sunday afternoon. The ticket to the post-season party came via a thrilling and entertaining 5-4 shootout win over the Kitchener Rangers.
Guelph’s Peter Holland was the only one of six shooters to score in the shootout.
There was a sense of overwhelming relief after the win for the Storm, which came before a near-sellout crowd of 4,993 at the Sleeman Centre.
There was also a tinge of ‘this isn’t enough’ in the air.
“We’re in the playoffs now, but we hope to move up,” said Storm goaltender Brandon Foote.
Foote made 25 saves in regulation, a couple of beauties in overtime then a highlight reel glove save on Chris MacKinnon in the shootout.
“Our confidence just keeps building. We’re not happy with eighth place,” added Matt Sisca.
Sisca tied the game 4-4 five minutes into the third period when Tim Campbell’s point blast deflected off his skate behind Rangers’ netminder Mike Morrison.
With three games left in the regular season the Storm has a chance to move up as high as sixth place in the standings. They currently sit two points back of the seventh place Erie Otters and three back of the sixth place Saginaw Spirit.
Sixth place would mean a first-round playoff matchup against the same Rangers, a possibility that brought a smile to the lips of several players.
CLICK HERE TO READ THE COMPLETE STORY AT GUELPHMERCURY.COM