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Four goals by Mad Max leads Guelph Storm to easy win

Max Namestnikov score four times in a 7-3 win over Sault Ste. Marie

Sometimes the you fight the puck, sometimes it shows up on a silver platter.

It was a case of the latter for Guelph Storm winger Max Namestnikov Friday night at the Sleeman Centre. He scored four times to power the Storm to a 7-3 victory over the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.

Not to cast shade on Namestnikov's accomplishment, but for the most part it was a matter of being in the right place at the right time, which in itself is a skill.

"It was one of those nights where everything was going my way. It was really nothing special, it was just going my way," said Namestnikov, who leads the team with 27 goals.

"If you keep doing the little things, you eventually get rewarded. The hockey gods are always watching and today I think today I just got rewarded for it."

Namestnikov wasn't the only one having a big night. Braeden Bowman had a goal and four assists and Michael Buchinger had four assists. Jake Karabela and Charlie Paquette had the Storm's other goals.

Guelph led 3-0 by the midway point of the second period on a trio of power play goals and put it in cruise control the rest of the way.

The win moved Guelph, along with Owen Sound who also won Friday, to four points back of the Saginaw Spirit and the all-important fourth spot and home home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Guelph has 12 games left in the regular season.

With a big game against London Sunday afternoon, the big guns were kept off the ice much of the third period or Namestnikov might have joined the Guelph Storm Five Goal Club.

Four of Guelph's goals were on the power play.

"We've been working on it. Doing 15 ... 20 minutes of it after practice, so yeah, we've been working on it," Namestnikov said. "It's a momentum gainer. We need to go out there and boost the team up with a goal and the other team isn't going to like it."

Storm coach Chad Wiseman said they have been spending a lot of time working on the power play, including watching lots of video.

"Tonight it was about getting pucks to the net and making sure we were getting four guys to the net," Wiseman said.

Guelph hosts the London Knights Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. before playing its next four games on the road, including a school day game in Mississauga on Wednesday.

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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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