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Guelph Storm coach losing his patience (8 photos)

Power play sputters in 6-3 loss to the Kitchener Rangers
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Guelph Storm coach George Burnett is clearly losing his patience.

As the Guelph Storm losing streak hit six games Saturday night at the Sleeman Centre with a 6-3 loss to the Kitchener Rangers, Burnett turned up the heat in his post-game comments.

Most of them were directed at his older players.

"Some guys are leaving the rink tonight with a point or two, but I hope they're thinking about the final result as opposed to the point or two," said Burnett.

"The consistency is clearly not there and we're probably thinking a little bit more about ourselves than the team buy-in, so to speak, and the guys have got to find a way out of it."

The Storm fell behind 2-0 early and then get within a goal on three separate occasions before Kitchener pulled away late.

"We've generally rotated our young guys in, but with the play of Cooper, Benny, Maillett, Sikic and the way Zhilkin played tonight, maybe it's not the young guys that need to be rotated in and out," the Storm coach said.

"We're not real deep in veteran people, but we expect a lot more from them, especially in critical times. We get it to 4-3, we're on the power play, and we get nothing.

"This is not the same team that we saw for the first 32 games to start the season and we've got to find a way to get that back. It's on me and I take full responsibility for it."

The Storm scored just once on nine power plays, including a couple of five-on-three man advantages.

"The effort was much stronger than it was (Friday)," Burnett said. "But to do nothing on the power play tonight ... We have some pretty talented guys out there on the five on three and we're having trouble getting a scoring chance, so it's probably time that some other people get the chance to do it.

"I look to our big guys. When you have as many power plays as we had tonight, they've got to give us a lift."

Saturday saw a better effort than most during this losing streak, but a series of careless errors in their own end and a poor performance by their special teams proved their undoing.

There were also some more undisciplined penalties and rookie Owen Bennett, while making some big saves and battling for 60 minutes, was still beaten on six of 31 shots.

Starting goaltender Nico Daws could be ready to return to the crease next weekend.

An ultrasound confirmed an oblique strain suffered in practice last week and Burnett said Daws will be given a few more days rest and hopefully be able to return to practice later in the week and could be ready to play next weekend when the Storm has a home and home series with the Flint Firebirds.

"No disrespect to Owen, because it's a tough spot for the young guy to be in there, but it should give us a lift," Burnett said of Daws' possible return. "But just because Dawsy goes in net we don't make a decision to play good defensive sound hockey."

The Storm and Rangers go at it again Sunday afternoon in Kitchener.



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