ST. CATHARINES – The Guelph Storm’s game-by-game inconsistency has turned in to a period-by-period affliction on Thursday night.
After dominating the second period against the Niagara IceDogs at the Meridian Centre, the Storm fell apart late in the third period and the end result was a 6-3 loss.
Niagara scored three goals in a span of two minutes, 17 seconds late in the third.
“I thought it was one of our best periods of the year,” Burnett said of that second period. “We managed the puck and we handled the puck well in the second period. In the third period it was the exact opposite.
“No disrespect to them, they’re a good team, but I thought we gave them the hockey game tonight,” the Storm coach said.
“It wasn’t one or two guys, it was a complete effort by our group and we’ll see how much we care when we respond tomorrow night.
“I don’t think the second period was easy, but we’re still not finding enough ways to score goals, whether it’s hanging on to pucks too long or trying something than is more difficult than getting the puck on the net and getting some people there.”
It loss was Guelph’s third straight. They sit in seventh place in the Western Conference standings, six points up on the Owen Sound Attack, who have two games in hand.
The Attack visits Guelph Friday night.
“We had momentum going our way and then we didn’t succeed on our power plays and that changed things,” said Storm forward Givani Smith.
“We made a couple of turnovers, myself included, and they capitalized on those turnovers, that’s what we needed to do but didn’t,” Smith said.
Guelph outshot the IceDogs 17-9 in the second period but only got one goal for their efforts.
They went scoreless on three lacklustre power play attempts and gave up a shorthanded goal in the process.
“Our power play looked like the Keystone cops tonight,” Burnett said.
That shorthanded goal by Kirill Maksimov early in the third made it 3-2 IceDogs, then Liam Hawel scored at 6:58 on a two-on-one rush to tie it up.
Nico Daws got his fourth start of the season in the Storm net and made 29 saves.
Stephen Dhillon made 32 for Niagara, who have won four in a row and sit in third place in the Eastern Conference.
After Owen Sound Friday, the Storm will host the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds Sunday afternoon.
The Hounds saw their 23-game winning streak come to an end Thursday with a shootout loss to Mississauga.