Top Line Brilliant In 9-3 Victory

It’s safe to say that Robby Fabbri and Luke Cairns have successfully returned to the Storm line up as each of the recent returnees from the sick bay notched three goals and five points in a 9-3 victory over the Windsor Spitfires at the WFCU Centre on Thursday night.  Their linemate Chris Marchese added a goal and four assists as the top trio combined for 7 goals and 15 points.

It took a while for the Storm to get the ball rolling as Windsor struck first at the 11:11 mark with a power play tally by Cristiano DiGiacinto. Guelph would only trail until the 16:30 mark as a Fabbri pass from behind the Spits goal found Luke Cairns in the slot. Cairns had all day to out wait Spitfires goaltender Brendan Johnston and deposit the puck into the net for the 1-1 tie by the end of the opening 20 minutes. While the Storm had a fairly tame first period that was spent killing three penalties, the tide turned greatly in the middle stanza. After several minutes the Storm would break though for a 2-1 lead as former Spitfire Chris Marchese would find the back of the net in his return to the WFCU Centre at the 7:23 mark on a power play.

Just over two minutes later Robby Fabbri would finally return to the score sheet for the first time since his return from injury to give the Storm a 3-1 advantage. While it had been over three months between OHL goals for Fabbri it would only take him 58 seconds to find the back of the net again as he snapped a shot over Johnston’s shoulder at 10:33 for a 4-1 Storm lead as the floodgates opened. The goal would spell the temporary end of Brendan Johnston as Alex Fontinos would come in for relief. Fontinos wouldn’t fare much better as Luke Cairns would put away his second of the game at 12:57 to make it 5-1. After the goal a major scrum broke out near the Guelph bench which ended with Logan Stanley and Tyler Hill hitting the showers earlier than expected with game misconducts after a spirited bout. Less than two minutes later Cairns would complete the hat trick with a back hander in the slot at 14:21 on the power play. Guelph’s offensive output would finally end at 18:00 when Tyler Bertuzzi would score his team leading 42nd of the season after a long goalless drought to finish off a six goal period from the Storm to give Guelph a 7-1 lead through 40 minutes.

Original Spitfires starter Brendan Johnston returned to the Windsor crease for the third period. Lucas Venuto would temporarily stop the bleeding to bring the gap back to five with a goal at 4:14. Guelph however would widen the gap once more with Robby Fabbri completing a hat trick of his own at 13:57 with a breakaway after he was sprung from the penalty box. Jason Dickinson would finish off Guelph’s offence with a one timer from the circle at 15:28 for his 25th of the season. Jamie Lewis would be the final player to score on the night with a power play marker at 17:25. Givani Smith nearly got Guelph to double digits if not for a fine pad save by Johnston with a handful of seconds remaining but the Storm would have to settle for a 9-3 victory.

With the win combined with a Owen Sound loss in Barrie the Storm now hold a 5 point lead over the Attack for 4th place in the Western Conference with Owen Sound still holding a game in hand. Thanks to a London loss to the Kitchener Rangers on Thursday night the Storm have now pulled to within 3 points of the Knights for 3rd place in the conference and a game in hand over London.

Guelph will complete their 2014-15 road portion of their schedule Friday night with a visit to the Memorial Auditorium in Kitchener for a nationally televised Sportsnet tilt with the Rangers. The Storm return home on Tuesday to face the same Rangers for a St.Patricks Day contest as they begin a three game home stand to finish off the regular season.


  • Guelph improves their overall record to 36-24-2-2

  • Guelph improves their road record to 15-16-0-1

  • The goals were Fabbri’s first in the OHL since December 5th against Peterborough

  • Fabbri’s last multi goal game was a hat trick at North Bay on November 27th

  • Fabbri has 21 goals and 23 assists for 44 points in 26 games this season

  • Cairns goals were his first since January 10th in Sarnia before a bout with mono

  • Chris Marchese’s 5 point night now gives him 32 since joining the Storm 26 games ago

  • Bertuzzi’s goal and assist snapped a 4 game pointless and 5 game goalless streak

  • Bertuzzi had just 1 goal in his last 8 games coming into Thursday’s action in Windsor

  • Pius Suter had a 6 game points streak snapped where he racked up 8 goals and 4 assist for 12 points

  • Guelph swept their 4 game season series with the Spitfires winning 2-1 in Windsor on September 28th and a pair of victories at home by 5-2 and 5-4OT scores on October 24th and February 16th

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