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Red-hot Popovich not enough to save Guelph Storm (7 photos)

Netminder makes 40 saves in loss to Mississauga Steelheads

MISSISSAUGA — Anthony Popovich appears to have found his groove, unfortunately the same can’t be said for most of his teammates.

The Guelph Storm netminder was the only reason the Guelph Storm was still in the game Wednesday afternoon in Mississauga, as it was a one-goal difference most of the contest before the Steelheads iced it with a pair of goals in the third period for a 4-1 victory.

Popovich made 40 saves, many of them of the highlight-reel variety.

“I think it’s just a matter of putting some good games back-to-back and getting into that rhythm,” said Popovich after the game, which was an 11 a.m. school-day start at the Paramount Fine Foods Centre.

“I’ve felt good these past few games. I know a couple of them were losses but I felt good that I at least did my part to give us a chance to win. There was a lot of positive things myself and the team could take from those games.”

Popovich said he’s pretty good at self-analysis and knowing when he’s not playing well.

“It’s all about consistency. Any goalie that wants to play at the highest level, it’s about consistency and bringing it to the table any night,” Popovich said.

Wednesday was the second straight game the Storm has managed to score just one goal, this one a Daniil Chayka seeing-eye wrister from the point that made it 2-1 in the second period.

It didn’t help that leading sniper Nate Schnarr missed the game with a lower body injury. He’s day-to-day.

But scoring wasn’t what was on coach George Burnett’s mind following the loss.

“I would say that after today, scoring is not my concern,” Storm coach George Burnett said.

“To be very honest with you, when you look at our overall effort and our compete and our desire to play the game the way we’re capable of playing was very limited today.

“I didn’t like our effort, I didn’t like our body language and I didn’t like our willingness to work together. The scoreboard was very kind,” Burnett said.

The Storm was also missing defenceman Mark Wooley Wednesday. He’s out indefinitely with a lower body injury as the team plans on having him undergo some tests.

Guelph hosts the cellar-dwelling Flint Firebirds on Friday then the London Knights visit Saturday afternoon in a 3:30 start thanks to the game being broadcast on Sportsnet.