The ice was fresh and the air was filled with excitement as the Guelph Storm was set to kick off their 2012-2013 season. As the Sleeman Centre crowd settled into their seats they didn't have to wait long to see their team score just 1:14 in. Matt Finn took a shot from the blue line through some traffic and Jason Dickinson redirected the point shot past Spirit goalie Jake Paterson for the quick 1-0 lead.
The Storm's lead wouldn't last very long as seven minutes later on a three on two Saginaw's captain Vincent Trocheck fired a laser top corner to notch things up at one. Just as it looked like the the two teams would head to intermission all tied up , the Spirit's Eric Locke had other plans as he slipped a rebound past Garret Sparks with forty-six seconds left in the opening frame.
The second period would see Saginaw seize the momentum as they would finally capitalize on one of their many odd man rushes in the period. Trocheck used a nice toe drag to freeze the defender then fed Garret Ross who had a tap in, as Sparks had no chance after the cross ice pass connected.
The Storm started the third with a five on three power play that amounted to no chances and the odd boo from the Sleeman Centre crowd. Things were looking bad for Guelph until just after the midway point of the period when Finn would send another shot through the crowd and just like in the first period Dickinson was there and redirected the shot past Paterson to pull Guelph to within one.
Shortly after scoring the goal things looked to take a turn for the worst when the puck went about 20 feet in the air at the Spirit blue line, as Cody McNaughton waited for the puck to return to the ice he was run over by a Saginaw player. He was woozy when he stood up and went right to the dressing room and didn't return, there was no penalty on the play. This seemed to spark Guelph as moments later it looked like the Storm had tied the game when Brock McGinn would slip a rebound five hole, but because of an early whistle the play had been ruled dead. This didn't faze Guelph one bit as just over a minute later Justin Auger stepped out from the corner with a free path to the slot and snapped the puck past Paterson to tie the game up with just over five minutes to go.
Nothing was solved in the final five minutes, so the game would head to overtime and again the Storm started the period with a power play. Terry Trafford had received a cross checking penalty with twenty-five seconds left in the third. That would cost Saginaw the extra point when Finn found Andrey Pedan wide open sneaking in from the point and Pedan made no mistake burying the game winning goal.
1st: Jason Dickinson (GUE) 2G
2nd: Matt Finn (GUE) 3A
3rd: Vincent Trocheck (SAG) 1G 1A
Players that stood out:
Obviously those listed above under the 3 stars all stood out. Players on Guelph that I thought had good games were Tyler Bertuzzi, Justin Auger and Ryan Horvat. All these players were throwing big checks which energized the team and the crowd. Robbie Fabbri seems to only know one speed and that’s flat out flying, he was albe to get his first career OHL point when he assisted on the Auger game tying goal, he also hit a post in the third.
Saginaw players that stood out, I thought Garret Ross had a slow start but really upped his game after a few sloppy shifts. Once Ross settled in he was able to collect a goal and an assist. Steven Strong had a solid game as he was able to throw the body on some of the Guelph forwards.
What lies ahead for Guelph:
Guelph was embarrassed yesterday at home by the London Knights, the Knights won 8-2. The Storm's next game is at home on Friday the 28th at 7:30pm against the Owen Sound Attack. The Attack are off to a great start, this past weekend they won both their games and have outscored their opponents 11-3. This game presents a good opportunity for the Storm, if they can dig deep and halt Owen Sound's winning streak they can send a message that the big loss to London was just a bump in the road. Another big loss though and that could force Storm GM Mike Kelly to consider making a few phone calls to see what experienced defenders are available. Kelly has stated he wants to wait at least 10 games to see how the defence performs before making any necessary moves.