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Big crowd, big win for Guelph Storm

Guelph Storm now tied for fifth place in the conference after a 6-2 win over the Owen Sound Attack Monday afternoon

The Guelph Storm put on a big show in front of a big crowd Monday afternoon at the Sleeman Centre.

Playing in front of a season-high crowd of 4,850 on Family Day, Guelph moved into a fifth-place tie in the Western Conference standings with a 6-2 win over the reeling Owen Sound Attack.

After a brutal start to the season that left some wondering if they would even make the playoffs, the Storm now has a slim shot at fourth place and home ice advantage in the playoffs.

"I think we're starting to figure it out and we're playing the right way," said Matt Poitras, who had a goal and two assists in the win.

"We're going to keep going and try to climb the standings. We've got a good group in there. We got off to a rough start to the year but we always had belief in that room. I don't think we're surprised that we're playing a lot better.

"We should have been playing this well at the start of the year, but I think we were cheating a bit. Now we've found our way and we're playing the right way."

Guelph is tied for fifth in the standings with Owen Sound, with the Attack holding three games in hand. With 13 games left in the regular season, they are currently six points back of the Saginaw Spirit for the all-important fourth spot in the conference and home ice advantage in the opening round of the playoffs.

"I think we're just trying to take it one game at a time here, focus on the process and what's right in front of us," coach Chad Wiseman said. "If we get that, great. But we're just concentrating on playing the right way heading into the playoffs."

Monday's win included a couple of empty net goals that made the score look a little more one sided than the game was.

And much like Saturday's win in Oshawa, Guelph fell behind early but stuck to the system and rebounded.

Some ill-advised Attack penalties helped the cause, with two of Guelph's goals coming with the man advantage.

"We're a resilient team. We've come back quite a bit this year and it's a testament to our character, our habits and the way we play," Wiseman said. "The less time you spend in the D (defensive) zone the harder you work in the D zone, the more time you spend in the O (offensive) zone."

Owen Sound, now losers of six of its past seven games, went up 1-0 early in the game when Matt Papais broke in all alone and beat Patrick Leaver.

But three straight goals in the second period, including power play tallies by Michael Buchinger and Cooper Walker, gave the Storm a lead it would not relinquish.

Bowman's second of the game and empty net goals by Charlie Paquette and Poitras polished things off. Bowman also had a three-point game.

Isaac Enright missed his second straight game for Guelph due to injury. Zack Sandhu dressed in his place and was a plus-3 on the day.

Guelph hosts Sault Ste. Marie on Friday and London on Sunday afternoon.

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Tony Saxon

About the Author: Tony Saxon

Tony Saxon has had a rich and varied 30 year career as a journalist, an award winning correspondent, columnist, reporter, feature writer and photographer.
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