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Guelph Storm gets back on track on home ice (8 photos)

Guelph beats Sault Ste. Marie 6-3 in Game 3 of their first round playoff series, now trails the best-of-seven series 2-1

The Guelph Storm's shutdown line proved it can bring a little offence to the table when it's needed on Tuesday night.

Witht the Storm having the last change at the Sleeman Centre in Game 3 against the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, the hard-checking trio of Brayden Guy, Ben McFarlane and Cooper Walker were given the task of shutting down the Soo's dynamic offensive duo of Tye Kartye and Rory Kerins.

Mission accomplished, with the visitor's top line accounting for just one goal, a Kartye power play tally, as the Storm got right back in the series with a 6-3 victory.

They trail two games to one with Game 4 set for Thursday night in Guelph.

But the checking line also came through on the scoresheet, with McFarlane scoring twice and Guy once in the win. Guy also had two assists.

"They're playing against their top guys and if they can get us one or two that's a big plus for us," said Storm coach George Burnett. "I'm more concerned that they're not giving up any and that was our hope tonight."

McFarlane said the trio "knew that we had a job to do coming into the game and I thought our line did our job."

It was, well, playoff hockey.

Exciting, intense, chippy, solid goaltending at both ends and a crowd of 2,547 that sounded like twice that.

"Play simple, try to get puck deep and try not to make any mistakes. That's usually their game, they capitalize on our mistakes," said McFarlane.

It was also a thriller, as Guelph's final two goals came into the empty net, in what Burnett called a final few minutes of "chaos" played mostly in the Gueph zone.

The Storm also managed to do two things it hadn't done in the first two games: get off to a good start and get more shots on Soo netminder Tucker Tynan.

Guelph scored twice in the opening 2:27 of the first period and fired 36 shots at Tucker on the night.

"I thought we started well, we had more energy and more pace to our game tonight," said Burnett. "The crowd was energized. It was exciting to have playoff hockey again.

"I'd still like to see a lot more traffic in front of their net and a lot more chances, but there was more tonight than in games one and two."

"We knew we had to test this guy a bit more. We weren't giving him enough shots," added McFarlane.

While not perfect, Burnett said the team found a way, complimenting goaltender Jacob Oster and the work of Matt Papais, a forward who filled in on the blueline.

Guelph led 3-1 after one period and 4-2 after two.

Jake Karabela, Valentin Zhugin, on the power play, and Danny Zhilkin had Guelph's other goals. Oster made 36 saves and played very well.

The Storm also played without veteran defenceman Daniil Chayka, who missed the game due to illness. Luka Profaca also missed most of the game's final 10 minutes after being hit in the mouth by a deflected shot. He did return for the last two minutes.

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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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