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Hometown boy sinks Guelph Storm in season opener

Guelph native Logan Morrison scores twice as the Hamilton Bulldogs down Guelph 5-4 in overtime

Nobody on the Guelph Storm likes to lose, but with 67 games left in the regular season, nobody was taking Friday's season-opening overtime loss to the Hamilton Bulldogs too hard.

Guelph native Logan Morrison picked the top corner from the slot with 3.4 seconds left in overtime to give Hamilton a 5-4 win before a solid crowd of 4,735 at the Sleeman Centre.

Morrison's goal, his second of the game, came on the power play, one of four Hamilton goals scored with the man advantage.

But Storm coach Scott Walker was more proud of the way his team fought back from a 4-1 deficit than he was the loss in extra time.

"There was some questionable ones, but we can't take that many penalties," Walker said. "But I'm pretty proud of our guys, the way they fought back there ... we battled back and got a point against a team that knows how to win."

Guelph took a number of bad penalties in the game, including an obvious too many men on the ice call with 55 seconds left in overtime.

Walker took the bullet on that one.

"The too many men is probably on me, but there's different guys, a short bench, a lot of things going on. Still, full marks to the guys, we battled back and played hard."

Guelph trailed 2-1 after the first and 4-1 late in the second before mounting a comeback. They dominated the third until penalties took the wind from their sails, tying the game when Ben McFarlane's sharp-angled shot found its way through Hamilton goaltender Matteo Drobac.

But they spent much of overtime killing three minors, including a period they were down five on three.

They also lost Matt Poitras to a 10-minute misconduct late in the game and Ben McFarlane to a high stick.

"A lot of it was just nerves," Storm forward Jake Karabela said of the shaky start. "There's a lot of expectation coming into the year. As the game went on we got a little confidence and showed what we can do.

"Once we got our feet underneath us we showed the kind of team we could be."

The penalties were another subject altogether.

"Our discipline is what killed us today. For sure we have to be better disciplined," Karabela said.

McFarlane, Karabela, Poitras and Valentin Zhugin had the goals for the Storm. Jacob Oster made 17 saves.

The Storm was without top forwards Sasha Pastujov and Danny Zhilkin, both serving the second game of two-suspensions picked up in Game 4 of their playoff series last spring with Sault Ste. Marie. Also missing was overage defenceman Luka Profaca, who is still at the Anaheim Ducks camp.

Guelph plays in Saginaw on Saturday night. Next home game is Friday against the Flint Firebirds.

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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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