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Richard Scores Twice in Return

Going into last nights game Guelph held on to the eighth and final playoff spot in the West. They were finishing the back half of a home and home with the leagues punching bag, the Erie Otters.

Guelph got off to the start they were looking at 2:49 of the first period when Francis Menard scored his twenty-third of the year, putting the Storm up 1-0. Guelph's lead wouldn't last long though as Erie responded just four minutes later when Johnny McGuire found the puck on his stick in the slot with an open net, he tied the game up at 1. The period appeared to be ending in a tie but Jake Evans had other plans. Guelph turned the puck over, and after receiving a pass from Jimmy McDowell, Evans scored to put the Otter's up 2-1 with thirty-nine seconds to go in the period and that's how it would end.

The first half of second period, the teams exchanged scoring chances before Dane Fox caused a Guelph turnover that he snapped top shelf over Storm goalie Brandon Foote. Guelph would trail 3-1 late in the period and needed someone to step up in their biggest game of the season. The Storm welcomed back forward Tanner Richard who missed several games due to an upper-body injury and he stepped up when it was needed. Richard scored with just over a minute to go in the period, Matt Finn found Richard wide open in the slot and Richard potted his twelfth of the year and more importantly it brought the Storm within one with twenty minutes to go.

Guelph took just over three minutes to tie the game up. The Storm's leading scorer Zack Mitchell notched his thirty-fifth of the year. The Storm didn't stop there as Francis Menard would add his second of the game on the power play. Menard banged home the rebound to put Guelph up for good, 4-3. Tanner Richard would score his second of the game just two minutes after Menard's goal to put the Storm up 5-3. Guelph would hold the fort after a late surge and power play by the Otters to win 5-3.

With the win Guelph moved up to 7th in the West, they got even better news when they found out after the game that the Grey Hounds lost to Plymouth. With the Storm W and the Soo loss the Storm have a 4 point lead on the Hounds, each team has two games remaining. Windsor who was idle dropped to 8th with Guelph's win and are just 1 point behind the Storm and have a game in hand on them now.

Guelph's remaining two games are against the Owen Sound Attack. The first of the two meetings is Friday night in Guelph and then they hook up again in Owen Sound on Saturday night. With a win in one of these games the Storm will lock up a playoff spot. Whether that's 7th or 8th will be decided this weekend.

Also look on the website for my interview with Erie Otter's forward Stephen Harper.

For all your Guelph Storm information give me a follow on Twitter @ChrisMcdonald91

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