HAMILTON – Nate Schnarr got on track Wednesday night in Hamilton.
The Guelph Storm winger, who entered the game with five goals in 17 games this season, scored a hat trick in a 6-3 win over the Hamilton Bulldogs as Guelph scored four unanswered goals in the third period to earn the win against the Eastern Conference’s top team.
“It’s frustrating not being able to get going and you want to help the team get points, but it happens. We have other players clicking right now,” said the Waterloo native.
“It’s going to be a whole team effort the whole year. I don’t think we’re going to see one player light it up this year, it’s going to be consistent from everybody.”
Schnarr has missed 10 games this season with a variety of injuries, something he admits can have an effect on one’s effectiveness.
“It can. Maybe the hands come back a little bit rusty, but you come back and you keep it simple. You block stuff out of your mind and you go play the game you love,” Schnarr said.
Storm coach George Burnett said he is still getting to know Schnarr as a player, given all the games he has missed.
“It’s not easy to be your old self with all the different things that he’s had happen,” Burnett said.
“I just want to see him play in all our games and develop that consistency. He loves to play and he’s worked hard through all the disappointments and injuries,” Burnett said.
He wasn’t the only Storm player breathing a little easier after Wednesday’s win.
Alexey Toropchenko snapped a 23-game scoreless drought with his fifth of the season in that big third period.
Guelph dominated the first period then wilted a bit in the second, trailing 3-2 heading into the final 20 minutes.
Some hard work and some Hamilton penalties – including one for unsportsmanlike conduct and another for something said to the referee off the bench – played roles in the comeback.
Schnarr tied it on the power play then Dmitri Samorukov’s rocket form the point, also with the man advantage, proved to be the winning goal 6:35 into the final period.
Givani Smith had the other Storm goal.
Burnett said the mood in the building was helpful for the road team Wednesday, with the announced crowd of 2,714 being closer to half that.
“There wasn’t a tremendous atmosphere in the building tonight. It was a good night to be the road team,” the Storm coach said.
Zach Poirier missed last night’s game, the first of a four-game suspension he received for a head check game misconduct in Owen Sound last weekend.
The Storm hosts the Owen Sound Attack on Friday night and the Kitchener Rangers on Sunday afternoon in the annual Teddy Bear Toss game.