Guelph Comes From Behind To Beat Sarnia 7-6 In Shoot-out

Guelph Storm
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By Carl Chimenti

The Guelph Storm (32-27-4-1) scored two late third period goals and tallied the only goal in the shoot-out to beat the Sarnia Sting (37-17-5-4) 7-6, Friday night, at the Sleeman Centre.

Sarnia seemed to be in control 6-4 late in the third period on goals from Captain Nolan Dillingham (6th) at 1:56 and a power-play goal from Luca Del Bel Belluz (38th) (Columbus Blue Jackets) at 7:09. Guelph pulled to with-in one goal as Braeden Bowman, who had a five-point night scored his second goal of the game at 17:19 on the power-play. Former Sting forward Max Namestnikov followed that up by scoring his second goal of the game at 18:31 to tie the game and send it to overtime. Both Bowman and Namestnikov were selected as the top two stars respectively.

There was no scoring in the overtime which was dominated by Sarnia, as they out-shot Guelph 6-1. The game then went into the shoot-out with only Bowman scoring and that was the difference in the contest. The four game season series came to a close with three of the games decided in a shoot-out. Sarnia was 2-0-0-2 against Guelph and the two teams might be first round opponents in the up-coming OHL playoffs.

The shoot-out loss ended Sarnia’s eight game winning streak but extended the Sting’s unbeaten string to an OHL high of 14 games. It was also the sixth game in a row in which the Sting have scored six or more goals in a game.

Del Bel Belluz had a three point night and was named the third star. Sasha Pastujov (Anaheim Ducks) had a goal and an assist against his former club. Ethan Del Mastro (Chicago Black Hawks) had a pair of assists. Del Mastro extended his point streak to six games (1-10-11).

Both Brenden Anderson and Ryan Mast (Boston Bruins) scored their second goal in as many games and Marko Sikic also tallied once tonight.

Easton Wainwright, Lukas Fischer, Marcus Limpar-Lantz and Voit had one assist each. For Voit, he is now three points shy of 100 this season.

Ben Gaudreau (San Jose Sharks) stopped 22 of 28 shots. Overall Sarnia out-shot Guelph 34-28. The Sting were 1/5 on the power-play while the Storm went 2/4 with the man-advantage.

A very entertaining first period saw both Sarnia and Guelph scoring three goals apiece. The Sting opened the scoring early at 3:03 on a goal from Anderson, who found himself alone in the high slot and he made no mistake scoring his fourth goal of the season from Voit.

Guelph stormed back with three straight goals. The first coming 49 seconds later at 3:52 on a goal from Cam Allen with assists going to Bowman and Matthew Poitras (Boston Bruins), the first of his three assists. Cooper Walker from Allen put the Storm up 2-1 at 7:56. Just 56 seconds later Bowman scored a short-handed goal at 8:50 from Jake Karabela (Washington Capitals).

Sarnia came back with a vengeance scoring twice to tie the game. Del Bel Belluz’s shot was blocked by Guelph goaltender Brayden Gillespie but Pastujov was able to score on the rebound with his 39th goal of the year at 15:17. Fischer was also credited with an assist. Less than three minutes later the game was tied at 3-3 on a goal from Mast at 18:02. His point shot from inside the blue-line had eyes and found the back of the net past Gillespie, who never saw the shot.

Both teams failed to score on their only power-play chance and the opening period also featured a spirited fight by Sarnia’s Del Mastro and Guelph’s Jake Murray. Guelph out-shot Sarnia 15-14.

Things tightened up in the second period with each team scoring once, while combining to put twelve shots on net, six aside. Things got off to an exciting start as Sting goaltender Gaudreau made a spectacular save that you would have to see to believe. Sprawled on the ice the San Jose Sharks prospect managed to get his stick on a shot from Karabela, which could end up being selected as the Ontario Hockey League save of the year.

Namestnikov put the Storm in front at 4-3 on the power-play at 6:55 from Bowman and Poitras. Sarnia tied the game late at 18:52. Sikic scored his eleventh, depositing the puck into a wide open net after the puck came off the end wall.

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