Sunday Storm Warning - Guelph 5, Plymouth 3 in Game Two
GUELPH - Francis Menard's goal at 10:13 of the third period snapped a 3-3 tie and the Guelph Storm defeated the Plymouth Whalers, 5-3, in an Ontario Hockey League first-round playoff game played Sunday before 3,299 at Sleeman Centre in Guelph.
Guelph leads the best-four-of-seven series, two-games-to-none. Game Three of the series is Tuesday at 7:05 pm at Compuware Arena.
Besides Menard, Guelph also got goals from Scott Kosmachuk, Cody McNaughton, Jason Dickinson and Tanner Richard and 22 saves from Garret Sparks.
Plymouth - who rebounded from a 3-0 deficit in the first period - got a pair of goals from Stefan Noesen and a single from Rickard Rakell. Scott Wedgewood stopped 28-of-32 shots in goal for the Whalers.
Additional coverage - Tony Saxon, Guelph Mercury.
Guelph built the 3-0 lead in the first period in outshooting Plymouth, 19-6. Working on a 5-on-3 power play, Kosmachuk scored on a low shot from the left hash mark to give Guelph a 1-0 lead at 5:18
The Storm continued to pressure the rest of the period and scored two goals in 0:25 to extend the lead to 3-0. Tyler Bertuzzi and Tanner Richard teammed up to pick off a loose puck in the Plymouth zone and McNaughton snapped the puck past Wedgewood at 17:58 from just outside the blue ice. Dickinson scored at 18:23, picking up the puck at the right goal line in the Plymouth zone and stuffed the puck past Wedgewood.
Wedgewood was replaced at that point by Matt Mahalak, who played the rest of the period, stopping the only shot he faced in 1:37.
Wedgewood came back at the start of the second period and the Whalers started to chip into the 3-0 Guelph lead, scoring twice in at span of 0:28. Working on the power play, Noesen scored on a low shot from the hashmarks at 4:59 and Rakell redirected Colin MacDonald's shot from the top of the left circle past Sparks at 5:27 to cut the Storm lead to 3-2.
Plymouth outshot Guelph, 8-6, in the second period.
The Whalers carried the play through the first nine minutes of the third period, outshooting Guelph, 7-0, over the first 9:30 of the frame. Working again on the power play, Noesen split the Guleph defense by a half-stride, cut to his right and snapped the shot off Sparks' shoulder tie the game at 3-3 at 5:03.
But Guelph came back to lead, 4-3, on Menard's goal. Andrey Pedan's shot from the high slot went wide and caromed off the back boards behind the Plymouth goal. The puck pinballed in front of the goal and Menard scored at the right side of the Whalers goal just outside the blue ice.
Trailing by a goal, Wedgewood was pulled with 1:37 remaining, but Richard sealed the game for Guelph wih an empty net goal with five seconds left.
Guelph outshot Plymouth, 34-25.
More coverage - Neate Sager, Yahoo! Sports Junior Hockey.