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Overtime loss leaves Guelph Storm on brink of elimination

Owen Allard's power play goal in overtime gave the Soo Greyhounds a 5-4 victory at the Sleeman Centre

A game that should be remembered for the gutsy effort the Guelph Storm put out missing five key players will instead be remembered for a controversial penalty call with 15 seconds left in a 4-4 hockey game.

Behind the play, the Storm's Charlie Paquette was called for head checking as he finished a check in the corner of the offensive zone.

The arm went up and head check was called. Boos rained down from the stands. Storm coach Chad Wiseman exploded on the bench and eventually got thrown out before the Storm managed to kill off the final 15 seconds of regulation.

But 57 seconds into overtime Owen Allard scored on a one-timer from the slot to give the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds a 5-4 win and a 3-0 series lead.

"A lack of discipline by us by taking penalties, we shot ourselves in the foot and credit to them they capitalized on the opportunities," said Storm assistant coach Rob Collins, who was handling media responsibilities after the game.

"I think five on five we were really solid, we had discipline in the game plan and we had buy-in from everybody. I think where we came up short is we took too many penalties tonight ... we've got to find a way to stay out of the penalty box."

It was a gutsy effort perhaps worthy of a better outcome, considering the five missing players included three of its top four scorers in the regular season.

"It's tough. We feel we were the better team tonight and we gave ourselves the best chance to get a win, but it played out a little differently," said Storm defenceman Chandler Romeo.

"Nobody wants to be down 3-0, but that's the reality now. But I think the belief of everybody in the room is that we can come back here," Romeo said.

"It's a game of inches. A game of emotions. Everybody tried their hardest tonight."

Guelph was less than three minutes away from taking a 4-1 lead to the dressing room at the end of the second period.

But goals by Bryce McConnell-Barker and Gavin Hayes 28 seconds apart in the waning moments of the period made it a 4-3 game heading into the third and completely changed the tone of the final 20 minutes.

"It was unfortunate to go to a one-goal lead. But we won the second period," said Collins. "Had you asked at the beginning of the second if we would be happy with a one-goal lead going into the third, we would have taken it all day."

The visitors tied it up when Kirill Kudryavtsev put one between the pads of Brayden Gillespie on the power play with 5:08 left in regulation.

Not that the Storm didn't have its chances.

They had three shorthanded breakaways in the final period, two by Gavin Grundner and one by Jett Luchanko, but came up empty. Vilmer Alriksson also came up empty on a second-period breakaway.

Brody Crane, Parker Snelgrove, Paquette and Alriksson had the Storm goals. Gillespie made 33 saves.

Bryce McConnell-Barker, Gavin Hayes and Jacob Frasca had the other Soo goals. Charlie Schenkel started in net for the Hounds but got the hook after allowing four goals on 12 shots. Landon Miller stopped all eight shots he faced.

Game 4 goes Wednesday night in Guelph.


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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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