The Guelph Storm must be getting sick of working overtime.
For the 17th time this season the Storm went to overtime Sunday. Only North Bay has played more.
The Kitchener Rangers, who scored twice with their goalie pulled in the final 73 seconds of regulation, won it in when Joseph Garreffa finished off a two-on-one break 2:56 into overtime.
Six of Guelph’s last 11 games have gone to bonus hockey. Only once have they come away with the extra point.
“You leave with a sour taste in your mouth because you can’t get the job done in overtime,” said Storm coach George Burnett of the 5-4 loss.
“For the way we handled overtime in the first 40 games of the season compared to how we’ve handled overtime in the last few outings, it’s significantly different.
“We’re double-digits in shootout and overtime (losses). Even half of those would make a significant difference in the standings.”
Guelph has ended up losing 11 of the 17 games that have gone to overtime.
“It’s just playing right through the final buzzer,” said Storm captain Garrett McFadden.
“It comes. You learn how to win and you learn how to close things out. Unfortunately today we just didn’t have the right stuff going to close out the game.”
Still, big picture-wise it was a pretty good weekend for Guelph, coming away with four of a possible six points, including a big road win in Owen Sound Saturday afternoon.
“Disappointed to finish the way we did, but lots of positive things this weekend,” Burnett said.
The weekend’s action also guarantees the Storm a trip to the playoffs for the first time in three seasons.
Exactly where they finish will be determined by their final six games, four of which are on the road starting Wednesday in London.
“We could easily have had a six-point weekend,” McFadden said..
“We battled all weekend. We were never out of a game. It was nice.”
Three Storm goals in a 7:13 span of the third period staked them to a 4-2 lead over the Rangers Sunday.
But Adam Mascherin’s shot through a screen made it 4-3, then 23 seconds later Connor Bunnaman had enough time to gather a puck and wrist it past Anthony Popovich for the tying goal at 19:10 of the third.
“I’m disappointed with our overtime, but I’m not disappointed with anything else,” Burnett said.
“I certainly can’t complain about our effort … I liked our energy. I thought we played well.”
He said there were a couple of times late in regulation where the Storm had a chance to eat some time off the clock but didn’t.
“We don’t do that well enough. We don’t get into the corner, get off the wall, protect the puck and wear people out. It’s part of our game that I think we can do better. I know we can do better,” Burnett said.
Next home game is Friday when Saginaw visits.