By Carl Chimenti
Nolan Burke, fresh off a two game OHL suspension came back with a vengeance, tying the game 2-2 with his league leading 15th goal and finished things off scoring the lone goal in the shoot-out, leading the Sarnia Sting (9-6-2-1) to an exciting win over the Guelph Storm (4-12-2-1) Sunday afternoon, at the Sleeman Centre, in Guelph, Ontario.
Burke’s heroics was a fortunate break for the Sting as he had gone down in a heap, after getting hit by a shot early in the second period and had to be helped, due to the fact that he could not put any weight on his left leg when he was escorted off the ice by two of his teammates. Amazingly he returned a few minutes later, no worse for wear.
Burke tied the game early in the third period on the power-play at 6:13. Standing in front of the net, Burke received a pass from Marco Sikic, following a nice cycle from Ty Voit (Toronto Maple Leafs) and managed to tap it by Storm goaltender Brayden Gillespie, who was making his first career start in the OHL. The goal was also his eighth goal with the man-advantage, which is tops in the Ontario Hockey League. The point left Burke just 4 (96) shy of 100 career OHL points.
Voit’s lone assist was his league leading 32nd point and 26th assist.
Sting Goaltender Ben Gaudreau (San Jose Sharks) was in top form stopping 26 shots in regulation and overtime. He then proceeded to deny all three Guelph players he faced in the shoot-out. Gillespie finished with 21 saves.
The two teams traded goals in the first period as Sarnia dominated in shots by an 11-6 count but Guelph held the upper hand in total shots in the game, 28-23.
Easton Wright put Sarnia ahead 1-0 with his third goal of the year at 5:57. Wainwright put the puck in the net past Gillespie from the side of the cage, following a rebound save. Namestnikov and Filak assisted on the goal. The assist was the second for both players in the past two games.
Cooper Walker tied the game at the 10:39 mark from Sasha Pastujov (Anaheim Ducks).
Guelph scored the only goal in the second period as Matthew Poitras (Boston Bruins) took a feed from Danny Zhilkin (Winnipeg Jets) and had a gapping net to shoot at with 29 seconds left in the period. Cam Allen drew the second helper. Sarnia could only muster six shots on goal.
The three stars of the game were Gaudreau (3rd), Gillespie (2nd) and Burke notching the first star.