OTTAWA ᠆ It was a piece of the puzzle that needed to put in place and the Guelph Storm did it Friday night: win one on the road.
A "greasy" 4-3 win over the Ottawa 67's at TD Place gives the Storm a 3-2 lead in the OHL championship series. They can win it at home Sunday afternoon.
"We got through some real tough times I think in the game tonight. It was a little bit greasy. But whatever, we'll take it," said Storm coach George Burnett.
"We'll enjoy it for a few minutes, but we certainly have to be a better club on Sunday afternoon."
It wasn't picture perfect. And at the end of the day it was a nail biter.
But they battled back after giving up the game's first goal and dominated for much of the next 40 minutes.then held on for dear life in the third period as the 67's made a big push.
They bent, but they didn't break, hanging on for the win despite Ottawa buzzing around the Guelph zone for much of the final two minutes of the game.
"Every time we're down we have a lot of character," said the Storm's Dom Commisso. "It's a testament to every guy in (the dressing room)."
Guelph led 2-1 after one and 4-2 after two.
"It's pretty easy to play desperate hockey because you have no choice. We have to play that way from the beginning," said Ottawa overager Tye Felhaber.
What proved to be the winning goal came off the stick of Nate Schnarr at 12:39 of the second period.
Schnarr made a nice play to chip the puck past a pinching Ottawa defenceman in the Guelph zone, then raced up the ice to create a two-on-one break with Liam Hawel.
Schnarr bolted to the net and Hawel fed a perfect pass for him to redirect past Ottawa goalkeeper Cedrick Andree.
That made it 4-2 at the time.
Felhaber's goal midway through the third narrowed the margin to one goal, then the Storm ground it out down the stretch.
Anthony Popovich was big when he had to be in the Storm net, with Ottawa outshooting Guelph 31-29.
Ottawa coach André Tourigny said there are no surprises at this stage of the game. It's about will and execution.
He cited a bad pinch by a defenceman and a blown assignment on a face off as examples of mistakes that cost his team.
"We fought hard. We showed a lot of character. We showed in the third period what kind of hockey we're capable of," Tourigny said.
"We know what they do. They know exactly what we do. We need to do it better than them," the Ottawa coach said.
"At this time and point Guelph and Ottawa are two really good teams. We need to win more battles."