It took 14 games for the Ottawa 67’s to lose in this OHL playoff year. Now they have dropped their second straight in the OHL Final. They were edged 5-4 as the Guelph Storm evened up the series at two games apiece.
Ottawa took the lead just 4:48 into the game when Hudson Wilson notched his first of the playoffs to give the 67’s the 1-0 lead.
The 67’s held the lead for about seven or so minutes until Nate Schnarr scored on the power play for Guelph to make it 1-1.
From there, it was all Storm. Alexey Toropchenko scored at 13:29 of the first to make it 2-1, Toropchenko scored again 6:46 into the second period to make it 3-1 and Nick Suzuki scored at 13:34 of the second to make it 4-1. That was four unanswered for the Storm and they had built up a nice lead for themselves.
Ottawa got one from Lucas Chiodo at the end of the second (18:22) to get Ottawa back on the board and make it 4-2. Chiodo, who ended the game with a goal and an assist was named the third star of the night. The Storm’s Toropchenko was second star with two goals and Guelph’s Suzuki was the first star with his goal and the primary helper on the game-winner for the Storm.
That game-winning goal would come off of the stick of Liam Hawel on the power play 2:28 into the third period. It was now 5-2 Guelph.
Ottawa would fight back, though. Tye Felhaber scored on the power play at the 16:05 mark of the third to make it 5-3. The 67’s then pulled goaltender Cedrick Andree with a little under three minutes to go. That would result in a Kyle Maksimovich goal with three seconds left in regulation to make it 5-4 Guelph. But it was too little, too late and the Storm got the W and tied the series up at 2-2.
In a penalty-filled game that featured a scrap 6:26 into the second between Ottawa’s Merrick Rippon and Guelph’s Zachary Roberts (Roberts got a ten-minute misconduct penalty along with the five minute fighting major), the 67’s were 1-for-4 on the power play. The Storm were 2-for-4 with the man advantage.
In goal, Guelph’s Anthony Popovich stopped 30 of the 34 shots he saw while Ottawa’s Andree turned aside 19 of 24 shots faced.
Mitchell Hoelscher was a minus-1 plus/minus and won two of the ten faceoffs that he took.
Game five will take place on Friday, May 10 in Ottawa at TD Place at 7 PM. We will find out then if the Storm can take the commanding 3-2 series lead or if the 67’s can get back to the winning ways that they have enjoyed throughout most of these playoffs.