HAMILTON - One night after probably deserving a better fate, the Guelph Storm got what they deserved Saturday in Hamilton.
Sloppy in their own end and lacking the jump they showed the night before against Windsor, the Storm played catch-up all night before losing 5-4 to the Hamilton Bulldogs at First Ontario Centre.
“I don’t think we played well enough to say ‘we should have won that game,’” Storm coach Jarrod Skalde said.
“You give yourself a chance and you fight back into it, but at the end of the day if you shoot yourself in the foot time and time again, you don’t deserve to win.”
Guelph never led in the game and twice trailed by a pair of goals.
“I just thought our whole team, our energy level compared to (Friday) night was a lot lower. We just didn’t have that jump we saw last night,” said Skalde.
“We were just a little too loose, especially in our own zone. The second and third opportunities that we gave them were just too many. We have to tighten up defensively.”
What proved to be the winning goal came on a strange play at 11:54 of the third period.
A wrist shot from the point hit Guelph defenceman Garrett McFadden in the head and he went down on all fours. Play continued and three seconds later Marian Studenic swatted the puck past goaltender Anthony Popovich to put the Bulldogs up 5-3 at the time.
A James McEwan power play goal, his second of the game, made it 5-4 with 5:58 left in the third, but that was it.
Skalde said he didn’t think the play should have been blown dead when McFadden appeared hurt.
“If it had been the other way around we would have been screaming mad if they had blown it down,” Skalde said. “They had possession and it was a quick play at the net.
“I don’t know if it should have been blown down or not, it was unfortunate. Just thank God that Garrett is okay.”
Kyle Rhodes and Nate Schnarr had Guelph’s other goals. Ryan Merkley assisted on three of the Storm goals.
Popovich made 38 saves in defeat. Kaden Fulcher made 39 for Hamilton.
The Storm is now 3-3 on the season and plays in Kitchener Monday afternoon.