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Big game, big win for Guelph Storm (6 photos)

Several struggling players respond with big nights against the Saginaw Spirit

It was Monkey Off The Back night at the Sleeman Centre Wednesday night.

Several players picked the perfect night to break out of ruts as the Storm downed the road-weary Saginaw Spirit 8-2 at the Sleeman Centre.

Nick Suzuki snapped a seven-game scoring drought with a pair of goals and Dom Commisso, who had just two goals in his previous 37 games, also scored a pair.

Commisso had been in bed for six days with the flu recently, missing the last couple of games.

Zach Roberts had his first goal since joining the Storm and junior B call-up Ben McFarlane picked up his first OHL point when he assisted on Roberts' goal in the third period.

"We didn't come in expecting a blowout," said Suzuki of a result that moved fourth-place Guelph three points back of the third-place Spirit in the Western Conference standings.

"It was definitely nice to score a couple. I haven't scored since my first game in Guelph," Suzuki said. "I was getting the chances, they just weren't going in for me. Everyone just keeps telling me to shoot.:

Eight Storm players had multi-point nights and the top line of Suzuki, Commisso and Isaac Ratcliffe combined for four goals and eight points.

Commisso was filling in on the line for MacKenzie Entwistle, one of five Storm regulars out of the lineup due to injury.

"We have so much depth on the team and tonight we had a few guys out of the lineup, so we had to step up," Suzuki said. "It just shows the depth on our team. Coach asked us to step up with so many guys missing and everyone did that."

Saginaw was playing its fourth game in seven days, all on the road.

They led early, courtesy of a Ryan McLeod power play goal, but after that it was all Storm, as they led 3-1 after 20 minutes and 7-2 after 40.
"Our guys were challenged after what I thought was a poor opening 40 minutes in Erie (last Saturday)," Storm coach George Burnett said.

"We asked some guys to make a difference tonight and challenged some guys to inspire our group," Burnett said.

"I think it was a pretty solid effort. We certainly made the most of the chances we created."

Storm goaltender Anthony Popovich had a tidy 29-save effort while the Storm chased Saginaw starter Ivan Prosvetov midway through the game after allowing six goals on 20 shots.

Guelph hits the road this weekend for games in Ottawa and Kingston. Entwistle, Alexey Toropchenko and Cam Hillis could all potentially be back in the lineup.

Next home game is Feb. 8 against Sarnia.