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Guelph Defeat 67's In A Shootout

Coming into the game against the Ottawa 67's, the Guelph Storm held onto the final playoff spot by the slimmest of margins. They were tied with the Soo Grey Hounds who were idle on Sunday. Guelph used one of their two games in hand on the Soo to jump two points ahead of them after defeating the 67's in a shootout by a final score of 4-3.

Both teams played a flawless first period, with Guelph dominating the majority of play. Both goalies Michael Nishi of the 67's and the Storm's Garret Sparks combined to stop all shots they faced. The score after one was 0-0.

The Storm once again pressed the action and at the 6:15 mark of the second they were rewarded when Jason Dickinson put one past Nishi for the 1-0 lead. However after allowing the games first goal Ottawa began to push back and tied the game ten minutes later when Nicholas Foglia beat Sparks, knotting things up again. Shortly after relinquishing the lead Guelph responded in a big way, scoring two goals in just over two minutes. Brock McGinn who was one of the best Guelph players in the game would notch the first one putting the Storm up 2-1, Cody McNaughton would add another to give Guelph a 3-1 lead heading into the third.

After killing a penalty to start the third Ottawa finally caught a break when the league's leading scorer would break in one on one with Sparks and he made no mistake tucking the puck into the net to cut the lead to one. 67's tender Nishi continued to turn away Guelph opportunities and help keep Ottawa within striking distance. Nishi and Ottawa would benefit from a rather fortunate bounce off a skate that beat Sparks 5-hole to tie it up at three. Steven Janes would be credited with the game tying goal. The 67's survived a late scare in the period when they were down two men, but they were able to kill off the penalties. Both teams had earned a point after sixty minutes.

In overtime the 67's took over and had multiple opportunities including what look to be a for sure tape in to win it, but Sparks stuck his pad out and denied the 67's the win. Sparks would continue to come up big for his team and help send this game to a shootout.

In the shootout Sparks continued to shine. Sparks faced Tyler Toffoli, Sean Monahan, and Mike Cazzola and he stopped em all. It was the first time in Spark's OHL career he had gone 3/3 in a shootout. The Storm got the only goal of the shootout from their second shooter Jason Dickinson who had opened the scoring back in the second.

With the Storm's win and a Windsor loss, Guelph jumped to 7th in the West. They are tied with the Spitfires in points with sixty but have two games in hand on Windsor. The Storm are two points up on the 9th place Soo Greyhounds and have a game in hand on them. Guelph's next game is Tuesday vs the Kitchener Rangers.

By Chris McDonald
Follow me on Twitter @ChrisMcdonald91

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