A lot better effort, however one other loss for Guelph Storm
The Guelph Storm likely deserved a better fate Saturday night.
Playing what might have been their best game of the season, the Storm was up 3-1 on the Kitchener Rangers before losing 4-3 in overtime.
The Storm has lost seven of its first eight games this season and sits dead last in the 20-team OHL.
Filip Mesar won it at 1:54 of overtime, taking advantage of a turnover by Guelph’s Sasha Pastujov in the Kitchener zone, then racing down the ice to beat goaltender Jacob Oster on the breakaway for his second goal of the game and sixth point in two games since joining the team.
The goal came seconds after Guelph’s Danny Zhilkin was thwarted on a breakaway by Kitchener goaltender Jacob Parsons.
“That’s two games in a row where I think we’ve deserved a better fate, especially tonight,” said Storm coach Chad Wiseman. “Sixty minutes of compete and I thought our attention to detail, for the most part, was excellent.”
Guelph also took just one minor penalty.
“They’re obviously disappointed, any time you play a game and you deserve a better fate, you will be disappointed. But that’s hockey. The hockey gods and the sports gods aren’t going to do you any favors when things aren’t going well. You have to dig yourself out of that hole.”
Storm captain Cooper Walker said the team put in a full 60 minutes, which bodes well for the future.
“We had a couple of bounces that didn’t go our way, but we played a strong 60 minutes and if we keep doing that I think we’re going to win a lot of games,” Walker said.
Walker said it’s important to remain confident and having played back-to-back solid games helps with that.
“No one likes losing, but the way we played, we have to keep that going.”
A goal by Michael Buchinger and two by Pastujov had Guelph up 3-1 early in the second period.
But Kitchener got one by Mesar late in the second and another by Trent Swick early in the third to tie it.
The Storm had plenty of chances, including plenty on the power play, but could only manage one goal on nine tries with the man advantage, something that Wiseman said was a killer.
“There was a lot of good looks, but at the end of the day, at this level and the next level, you have to capitalize on your power play to be successful,” Wiseman said.
Buchinger had three points for the storm. Jacob Oster was solid in net, but was outshone by Parsons, who was superb at the other end.
Storm general manager George Burnett says second-year forward Chase Coughlan has joined Georgetown of the tier II Ontario Junior Hockey League to get him ice time and help build his confidence. He hopes to see Coughlan back in Guelph at some point.
Gavin Grundner, who had a hot start in Leamington junior B this season, will get an extended look in the lineup at Coughlan’s place.
Guelph plays in Kitchener on Tuesday. Next home game is Friday when Mississauga is in town.