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Guelph Storm has another awful start in home ice loss

With six games remaining in the regular season, Guelph has now lost three in a row

It was Players' Only Meeting time at the Sleeman Centre Friday night.

No yelling. That came two hours earlier when coach Chad Wiseman called timeout and ripped into his team after they fell behind 4-0 in the opening 12 minutes of what would turnout to be a 7-4 loss to the Windsor Spitfires.

It was more a talk about what needs to happen and what needs to change, said captain Cooper Walker.

"It's good to talk about it. Nobody likes to lose, so it's just 'what can we do better to give ourselves a chance to win and play 60 minutes?'" said Storm captain Cooper Walker.

Can those discussions be kept constructive?

"Of course. They're always constructive. We've got a great team in there and a great group of leaders ... everybody has good things to say and everybody takes it into account."

After a six-game winning streak that had the Storm thinking of fourth place and home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs, they have now lost three straight and with six games left in the regular season the possibility of seventh or even eighth place is more likely.

All three have involved poor starts. What might have been a blip on the radar has become a trend.

"It's very concerning," said Wiseman.

"We didn't start on time again today for probably the fourth game in a row. I like the way we responded in the second period, but when you're down four goals to one of the top teams in your conference it's an uphill battle and you're probably not going to win too often."

Windsor scored four times in the opening 12:16 and it looked like a blowout was on the menu.

But Max Namestnikov got the first of his two on the night then Jett Luchanko and Namestnikov scored in the second to make it 5-3 heading into the third.

But a sputtering power play that would go two-for-10 on the night and the lack of any sustained offence meant no comeback would happen.

"We're going to have to dissect here in the room, players and coaching staff together. We're running out of time, the playoffs are just around the corner and we can't afford to have these slow starts going into the playoffs."

Valentin Zhugin had Guelph's other goal. Patrick Leaver played goal the first two periods before getting the hook.

Joey Christopoulos had a hat trick for Windsor and former Storm forward Jacob Maillet had a goal and two assists. Shane Wright also had a goal (into the empty net) and two assists.

Guelph gets Ryan McGuire back from suspension Wednesday when they host the London Knights. Game time is 7 p.m.


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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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