Storm clinch home ice in regular season finale

Robby Fabbri opened and closed the scoring as his hat trick helped Guelph clinch home ice advantage as the Storm skated to a 6-2 victory over the visiting Sarnia Sting in front of 4,935 at the Sleeman Centre Sunday afternoon as Guelph put a wrap to their 2014-15 Ontario Hockey League regular season schedule. The crowd capped off a record setting season at the box office as the Storm averaged 4,503 fans at the Sleeman Centre during 34 games this season, the highest total in the 24 year history of the Guelph Storm.

The large crowd was treated to a Storm goal just 32 seconds into the first period as Robby Fabbri snapped in a shot from the slot past Sting starter Justin Fazio on a feed from Tyler Bertuzzi down low to give the Storm an early 1-0 advantage. Guelph would add to their lead later in the period as Jason Dickinson redirected a hard pass from Noah Carroll just as a penalty to Sting defenceman Alex Black had expired to put the Storm ahead by a pair at 13:19. Justin Fazio gave Sarnia every chance he could to keep the Sting in the game as he came up with several fine saves in the opening period, stopping big attempts by Chris Marchese and Tyler Bertuzzi. The Sting would respond as a pinching Garrett McFadden left Sarnia on a 4 on 2 rush towards the Storm end where eventually Hayden Hodgson would snipe the disc over blocker side shoulder of Justin Nichols to bring the score to 2-1. However Guelph would respond just 44 seconds later as Pius Suter would score his 42nd of the season as he finished off a give and go down low between himself and Givani Smith to give Guelph a 3-1 lead through 20 minutes of play.

Guelph would find themselves with lots of power play time during the second period as Sarnia defenceman Franco Sproviero’s day came to an end with a match penalty for slew footing just 3:10 into the frame. The Storm would extend their lead to 4-1 early in the advantage as a Givani Smith shot hit a Sting defenceman on the rush and fell towards Fazio before being knocked in by Pius Suter for his second goal of the game. While the goal was later changed to being credited to Givani Smith it was then changed once again back to Pius Suter for his 43rd of the year. Guelph would get even more power play time as another Sting minor was called with just four seconds left in the major but Guelph was unable to capitalize again during the near seven minute stretch of 5 on 4 play.

Guelph seemed to hit cruise control for the middle stanza as Justin Nichols would find himself making several large saves against a different looking Sting lineup. Sarnia came into the days action having already set themselves up for a guaranteed 7th place finish in the western conference. With that in mind some of the top Sting players such as last season’s first overall pick Jakob Chychrun, leading scorer Nikita Korostelev and Pavel Zacha were rested in preparation for their upcoming playoff series with the Erie Otters.

Guelph would put away any realistic hopes of a Sarnia comeback as Robby Fabbri would notch a power play marker just 46 seconds into the third period from the slot to give the Storm a 5-1 lead.

The goal marked a goaltending change but unlike most situations it would be Guelph switching tenders as Justin Nichols gave way to Bradley Van Schubert for the final 19 minutes of the game. Nichols had started the final 17 games on the Storm regular season calendar. Van Schubert would make a mistake not long after taking to the Storm crease as he would misplay the puck on a shot from Sarnia forward David Brown at 6:02 that would end up behind him to cut the Storm lead to 5-2. Van Schubert would settle down nicely the rest of the way however as he would post nine saves during his 19 minutes of play as the Storm once again seemed to be on cruise control with the win virtually sealed.

Robby Fabbri would put an exclamation mark on the day scoring his 3rd of the game and 25th of the season on a shot from far out at 16:36. An assist from Tyler Bertuzzi would finish off a 98 point season which was a Guelph Storm high.

In the end Guelph would win the game by a final score of 6-2 and lead the shot clock by a 29-28 margin as the win secured fourth place in the western conference and home ice advantage for their opening round playoff series with the Owen Sound Attack which is set to get under way Friday night at the Sleeman Centre with a 7:30PM start time.

Following the game Sarnia Sting forward Stephen Pierog a Guelph native and member of last seasons Storm squad that captured the OHL championship stuck around to hug and exchange pleasantries with some of his former teammates. Pierog an overager playing in his final career regular season OHL game was named the games third star to a large ovation from the crowd. Storm forward Chris Marchese also an overager playing in his final regular season game was named second star while captain and longest current serving member of the Storm Jason Dickinson who was very likely playing in his final regular season game was named the games first star.

The Storm will also host game 2 of the series on Sunday, March 29th at 6:30PM. Game’s 5 and 7 will if necessary also take place at the Sleeman Centre on Saturday, April 4th at 7:30PM and Tuesday, April 7th at 7:00PM respectively.


  • Guelph finishes the 14/15 season with a overall record of 38-26-2-2 for 80 points

  • Guelph finished with records of 22-9-2-1 at home and 16-17-0-1 on the road

  • Guelph scored just as many goals as they allowed during the season with 237 goals for and 237 goals against.

  • The Storm participated in 14 games that went beyond regulation with a record of 6-2 in games that ended in overtime and 4-2 in games that ended in a shootout

  • Guelph’s final power play numbers ranked 14th in the OHL at 18.5% scoring 55 times on 297 attempts

  • Guelph gave up a league wide low of just 3 short handed goals against

  • Guelph’s penalty kill would also finish 14th in the league at 77.4% giving up 70 goals on 310 occasions when they were short a man

  • The Storm scored 14 short handed goals this season, 3rd highest in the OHL behind only Barrie (23) and Oshawa (17)

  • Guelph’s longest winning streak of the season was 5 games from December 4-13

  • Guelph’s longest losing streak was just 3 games from November 2-7

  • The Storm achieved 2 shutouts during the season, both 3-0 finals posted by Justin Nichols on November 23rd at home against Kitchener and January 24th in Plymouth

  • The Storm were shutout themselves on 3 occasions. First in the opening game of the season on September 26th 6-0 to Belleville. Again on November 14th a 5-0 loss in Kingston and finally on December 28th at home 3-0 against Barrie.

  • The most goals the Storm would score in a single game this season was 9 on 4 different occasions. November 9th against London (9-4), November 21st against Plymouth (9-3), February 5th in Peterborough (9-4) and finally on March 12th in Windsor (9-3)

  • Tyler Bertuzzi lead the Storm in points with 98 and assists with 55

  • Tyler Bertuzzi and Pius Suter tied for the team lead for goals with 43 each

  • Tyler Boston lead all first year Storm players in scoring with 10 goals and 13 assists for 23 points

  • Noah Carroll posted the most assists for a first year player with 14

  • Zac Leslie despite missing the final 3 weeks of the season lead all defenceman in all offensive categories with 11 goals and 37 assists for 48 points

  • Tyler Bertuzzi led all Storm with a plus/minus rating of +26

  • Pius Suter extended his goals streak to 4 games with 5 goals and 1 assist for 6 points

  • Tyler Bertuzzi finished the season with a 5 game point streak with 2 goals and 7 assists for 9 points

  • Of the 43 goals Pius Suter scored this season 21 of them came since the start of February

  • By contrast of the 43 goals scored by Tyler Bertuzzi only 3 came during the final month of the season during a stretch of 13 games

  • Justin Nichols finishes 2014-15 with a record of 34-20-2-1 and 2 shutouts in 59 appearances. A goals against average of 3.26 and a save percentage of 0.907

  • Rookie Bradley Van Schubert finished 2014-15 with a record of 3-5-0-1 in 16 appearances. A goals against average of 3.75 and a save percentage of 0.893

  • Before his October trade to Peterborough Matt Mancina posted a 1-1-0-0 record in 3 Storm appearances with a goals against average of 4.35 and a save percentage of 0.851

  • Guelph finished their season series 2-2-0-0 against Sarnia with the home team winning all 4 games

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