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Storm stymied by Windsor's red-hot goaltender (7 photos)

Michael DiPietro makes 45 saves for the Windsor Spitfires

The Guelph Storm got DiPietroed at the Sleeman Centre Friday night.

Windsor Spitfires goaltender Michael DiPietro, arguably the best goaltender in junior hockey, stopped 45 of the 46 shots sent his way as the Spits downed the Storm 2-1.

Guelph is right back at it Saturday afternoon when they host the Kitchener Rangers at 4 p.m.

DiPietro was outstanding, and the Storm was certainly willing to tip its cap to the Vancouver Canucks draft pick, but they were also left thinking they could have done more too.

“He played a great game and he’s a great goalie,” said Storm forward Isaac Ratcliffe.

“He definitely stood on his head, but we just have to get to those dirty areas in front of the net. That’s where we get our goals.”

Storm coach George Burnett concurred with Ratcliffe.

“He’s definitely one of the top guys, if not the top guy, in the league. But I think we let him off the hook a little bit with a lack of traffic and second and third shot opportunities,” Burnett said.

“(Windsor) works. Their young guys work and their older guys set a great example and we’ve got to learn a lesson from that.

“We did it for much of the first and a good portion of the later part of the game, but through the second period I thought we got very long in our shifts, we got individual in our game and not everybody pulling the rope in the same direction,” Burnett said.

Second period goals by Aaron Luchuk and Daniel D’Amico gave the Spitfires all the scoring they would need.

Ryan Merkley’s power play goal with 1:46 left in the game made for an exciting finish, but the Storm couldn’t get the equalizer.

The Storm was 1 for 6 on the power play.

“Those are momentum changes. Move the puck quickly and you get great chances and great looks,” Burnett said.

“Your power play has to outwork their penalty kill and we lost some battles tonight.”

The game saw the return of James McEwan and Nate Schnarr to the lineup, McEwan from a pro tryout and Schnarr from injury.

Givani Smith, Mason Primeau and Tag Bertuzzi all missed the game with injuries. Mark Shoemaker served the second of his two-game suspension.