There was no third-period letdown for the Guelph Storm Friday.
A power-play goal by Charlie Paquette in the final frame was the difference as the Storm edged the visiting Flint Firebirds 3-2 on Nov. 10 at the Sleeman Centre snapping a two-game losing streak.
“I think we stuck with the system tonight and it kind of paid off,” said Paquette on the team’s play in the third period.
The Firebirds opened the scoring in the first period on Matthew Wang’s second of the season to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
Guelph answered 1:55 into the second period when Jake Karabella scooped up a rebounded in front of Firebirds’ goaltender Nathan Day and put in his fourth of the season to tie it up at 1-1.
Max Namestikov would give the Storm the lead 1:34 later on a giveaway in Flint’s zone. Namestnikov’s ninth put Guelph up 2-1.
With the Storm up 3-2 in the third, Braeden Bowden appeared to give the Storm their second power-play goal of the game at the 8:54 mark, but the goal was called back by video review for goaltender interference. That would have given the Storm a two-goal lead but defenseman Michael Buchinger said there was nothing they could have done about it.
“It was all about keeping a positive mindset,” said Buchinger. “Goals get called back all the time. You have to go back and get another one and have a short-term memory.”
With injuries to Cam Allen and, most recently, Quinn Beauchesne plus Rylan Singh at the World U-17, the Storm dressed only five defensemen for the game. Buchinger said they managed to get through the game.
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“We kind of stick to our game plan, understand that the clock is really important for us.”
The Storm got another great performance in net by Brayden Gillespie. He collected 26 saves in the win. Day was just as stellar for the Firebirds stopping 24 shots in the loss.
Paquette finished with two points and said he relishes playing in close games.
“I find it gets me into the game a little bit more. I like it when I’m able to finish my checks.”
Guelph managed only one power-play goal in seven opportunities with the man advantage. Flint had three chances and didn’t score.
The next game for the Storm is Saturday night when they travel down the 401 to London to face the Knights. Game time is 7 p.m. and 1460 CJOY will have the game with Larry Mellott on the call starting at 6:45 p.m.
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