O’McEwan Oustanding In Storm Victory

On a night where the Storm hoped for some luck of the Irish they would have to make some of their own as Chris Marchese would would finish off a great play along the boards by James McEwan to put the Guelph Storm ahead of the Kitchener Rangers with just over two minutes to play in the third period and hang on for a 3-2 victory in front of 4,658 at the Sleeman Centre on Tuesday evening.

McEwan had just scored the game tying goal minutes prior to setting up the game winner by Marchese after the Storm had dug themselves into an early hole against their highway 7 rivals for the second straight game, albeit a smaller hole.

Guelph native Connor Bunnaman would open the scoring at the 12:07 mark of the opening frame as he deposited the puck into a wide open net after the rebound of a Dylan DiPerna shot found Bunnaman to the right of Storm starter Justin Nichols. Bunnaman’s 10th of the season was his 3rd against his hometown club.

The Storm would enjoy the game’s first three power plays through the opening 20 minutes but could not work the puck past Jake Paterson. A glancing shot off the post by Storm captain Jason Dickinson being the closest the Storm would get.

Kitchener would open their lead up to a two goal spread just 1:27 into the second period with a power play that had carried over from the final 21 seconds of the first period. David Miller put away his 20th once again into a wide open cage at the right of Nichols on a pass from Max Iafrate.

Guelph would finally get on the board at the 5:14 mark as Pius Suter put away his 40th of the season. Suter’s high shot as he drove down the right wing seemed to fool Paterson slightly who just got a piece of the puck on his glove before the puck fell into the net.

The animosity of the highway 7 rivalry then heated to a boil.

With a fight having already occurred in the first period between Noah Carroll and Mark Bzowey, a pair of 98 born’s dropped the gloves with Matthew Hotchkiss and Sean Allen going at it. Allen found himself finished for the evening after removing Hotchkiss’ helmet during the tussle.

Late in the frame Rangers captain Liam Maaskant was given a five minute match penalty for slew footing Storm forward Chris Marchese. With Guelph on the power play a large scrum would break out following a Kitchener short handed chance after several Guelph players took exception to a late poke at Justin Nichols, this coming later on after a shot had been fired at Nichols well after a Rangers offside had been called. While several players got together it would be Max Iafrate who would earn a 10 minute misconduct leaving Kitchener with only three defencemen for the first half of the final frame.

Despite a depleted Rangers rearguard and plenty of power play time it seemed there would be no luck of the Irish for the Storm who sported special green, white and gold based jerseys for the St.Patricks Day tilt. The jerseys were to be auctioned off in support of the Guelph Giants special needs hockey club. The Storm spent most of the final period peppering Paterson with shots but it was the shots that never made it to Paterson that seemed to be troubling the most. Lots of bouncing pucks and Rangers sticks and bodies made it seem impossible for the Storm to capitalize for an equalizer.

In the end it was an unlikely source who would make the game deuces wild as James McEwan collected just his 3rd goal of the season on a deflection from Ryan Foss who had out worked the Rangers defenceman along the right wing boards for a shot towards Paterson at 10:42.

While the Rangers made a slight push back after the game tying goal it would be Guelph who continued to press for the go ahead goal. Finally it was McEwan who helped strike again with hard work along the boards, this time on the left hand side. McEwan eventually would find overager Chris Marchese in the slot who had lots of net to shoot at as he put away the eventual game winner at 17:35 along with his 17th of the season. It would be Kitchener who couldn’t find any luck at the Storm end as bouncing pucks during a six on five advantage meant not many quality chances despite a lot of pressure around Justin Nichols as Guelph held onto the 3-2 victory during a night where they eventually out shot the Rangers 37-32.

With the win Guelph ensures that Kitchener cannot pass them in the standings as Guelph can now finish no lower than 5th in the Ontario Hockey League’s Western Conference. The Owen Sound Attack are now the only team that can take home ice advantage away from the Storm in advance of the 2015 playoffs which are set to get underway next week.

Guelph will play either Owen Sound or Kitchener in the first round.

The Storm go from one possible playoff preview to another as Guelph will be in action next on Friday night when they host the Owen Sound Attack at 7:30. A victory for the Storm would clinch them 4th place in the Western Conference and ensure home ice advantage for the opening round.


  • Guelph improves their overall record to 37-25-2-2 for 78 points

  • Guelph improves their home record to 21-8-2-1

  • Guelph has won 6 straight on home ice, their last loss coming on February 6th to Sudbury

  • Pius Suter has exploded for 15 goals and 6 assists for 21 points in his last 14 games, he has been held pointless in just 2 games in that stretch

  • Captain Jason Dickinson saw the end of a 8 game point streak in which he had collected 3 goals and 8 assists for 11 points

  • Robby Fabrri saw the end of a short 2 game point streak where he had collected 4 goals and 4 assists for 8 points

  • The game’s first star James McEwan saw the end of a 20 game goalless drought. He had last scored on January 11th against Kitchener.

  • Guelph finishes their 8 game season series against the Kitchener Rangers with a record of 4-4

  • The home team won all 8 games during the 2014-15 edition of the highway 7 rivalry

  • Kitchener has not won in Guelph since March 28th, 2013 during game 4 of a Western Conference Quarter final playoff match up.

  • Kitchener’s last regular season victory in Guelph was a 3-2 triumph on March 13th 2013

  • Guelph has not won in Kitchener since a 2-0 shutout on March 4th, 2014

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