Storm Victorious In Extra Time Again

A sold out Sleeman Centre crowd of 4,927 erupted on a rare Monday afternoon Ontario Hockey League tilt as a Zac Leslie cross crease pass intended for Tyler Bertuzzi bounced off Windsor Spitfires defenceman Jalen Chatfield and past goaltender Brendan Johnston to give the Guelph Storm a 5-4 come from behind overtime victory.

The fact that the Storm had to come back twice during the third period was surprising considering it was the Storm who got things going offensively in the opening frame. Tyler Hill scored his 13th of the season at 11:46 of the first period as he shovelled the puck past a sprawling Alex Fotinos to give the Storm the 1-0 advantage despite the Spits heavily out shooting the Storm in the opening minutes, so much so that Guelph head coach Bill Stewart used the Storm’s only time out just over 5 minutes into the contest. The Storm would take a two goal lead into the dressing room after one of the oddest goals you will ever see. As Spits goaltender Fotinos rounded behind his net to catch a dump in something appeared wrong with one of the straps on his pads, with two Storm players bearing down on him Fontinos tried to smother the puck behind the net which would have resulted in a delay of game penalty had he not eventually moved it. Once Fontinos did lift his hand off the puck at the request of the nearby official it was poked to the front of the wide open Windsor net and put in by Pius Suter for his 29th of the season at 18:47. Alex Fontinos equipment issues seemed to continue and he would leave the game but would not return as Brendan Johnston would man the Spits net for the rest of the day.

Windsor then would spend the entire second period clawing back which got kicked off just 44 seconds into the middle stanza when Guelph native Patrick Sanvido’s slap shot from the half boards barely squeaked past Nichols to cut the Storm lead in half. The goal was Sanvido’s first of the season. Justin Nichols remained solid in the Guelph net as just like in the first period he had to face 20 shots in the second. Eventually at 18:51 the Spitfires would make it deuces wild when Slater Doggett would lift a back hander over Nichols after about two or three shots in succession.

Windsor took even less time to get on the board in the third period as Storm defender CJ Garcia left the puck behind him trying to break out of his own zone and left it right on the stick of Spits forward Anthony Stefano who snapped the puck past Nichols just 10 seconds into the final frame to give Windsor their first lead of the afternoon. Guelph would not trail for long as Tyler Bertuzzi would score his team and tied for league leading 40th goal of the season on a long snap shot that eluded Spits goaltender Johnston for the 3-3 score. The game then turned very physical and nasty when just seconds later at 2:28 when 6′ 6” forward Logan Stanley would nail Storm defender Garrett McFadden at the Windsor blue line in what looked like a very high hit. Despite an eight inch height difference second year forward Marc Stevens not only challenged Stanley to a tussle but handily defeated the large Windsor forward. It would prove costly for Stevens though as he would sit not only for the 5 minute fighting major but was also handed a 2 minute minor for instigating which also carries an automatic 10 minute misconduct with it. While Guelph would kill off that particular penalty it would be a power play goal that put Windsor back ahead with Phil Baltisberger in the box for hooking. A Windsor point shot with the man advantage seemed to hit several things on the way to the Storm goal and past Nichols to give the Spitfires a 4-3 lead. After being originally credited to Jamie Lewis the goal was eventually awarded to Lucas Venuto for his 17th of the season at the 11:07 mark.

While the amount of Spitfires shots seemed to slow down the Storm couldn’t find much offense of their own until Justin Nichols left for a sixth attacker just prior to the final minute of regulation. In the end it would be rookie Givani Smith who poked in his 6th of the season to tie the game 4-4 on a mad scramble. Smith had been given severely reduced ice time through most of the third period after some lacklustre play earlier in the afternoon but was given the chance as the extra attacker and cashed in at 19:05 to send the game to overtime. Moments after Nichols faced his 50th shot of the day for the second game in a row, Leslie would give the Storm the extra point on his attempted pass to Bertuzzi at 3:01 of the short extra frame. In the end Windsor had out shot Guelph by a margin of 50-36. In addition to his 40th goal of the season Tyler Bertuzzi would collect first star honours on the strength of three assists. Line mate Pius Suter added a goal and two assists of his own. The win capped off a perfect week (as far as wins and losses go) for the Storm who collected maximum points (six) with wins also over Erie and Sarnia.

The Storm were without captain Jason Dickinson on Sunday as he sat out with a bruised collar bone and sternum suffered in Friday night’s shootout victory over the Sarnia Sting. It is hoped that Dickinson will return to the lineup Friday night when the Storm host Connor McDavid and the Erie Otters for their final regular season visit to the Sleeman Centre in 2014/15 for a 7:30PM start.


  • The Storm improve their record to 31-20-2-2 for 66 points, 4th in the western conference

  • The Storm continue to sit just one point behind London for 3rd place, the Storm however do extend their lead on Kitchener for 4th place to a 5 point gap. Kitchener continues to hold 2 games in hand.

  • Guelph’s home record improves to 17-8-2-1

  • Guelph’s overtime decision record this season improves to 6-2

  • In their past 15 home games dating back to December 12th the Storm have only collect two victories in regulation time. In that 15 game stretch they have 6 wins in extra time.

  • Tyler Bertuzzi extends his points streak to 6 games with 6 goals and 6 assists for 12 points

  • Bertuzzi now has 40 goals and 44 assists on the season for 84 points

  • Bertuzzi’s 40 goals has him a tie with Barrie Colts forward Joseph Blandisi for the league lead

  • Pius Suter has points in his last 3 games with 4 goals and 2 assists for 6 points

  • Suter has 7 goals in 6 games during the month of February

  • Zac Leslie recorded his 150th OHL point with an assist on Tyler Bertuzzi’s goal early in the 3rd period, he now has a career total of 39 goals and 112 assists for 151 points.

  • The game was Guelph’s 3rd against the Windsor Spitfires this season, the Storm have won all three contests with victories previously on September 28th in Windsor (2-1) and on October 24th in Guelph (5-2)

  • The two teams complete their four game season series on Thursday, March 12th at the WFCU Centre in Windsor

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