Sports Canucks

MEMORIAL CUP

Guelph Storm book place in Memorial Cup final 0

By Ryan Pyette, The London Free Press

No team in the Ontario Hockey League could shut down the Guelph Storm’s offence this season.

Not much has changed at the Memorial Cup.

The Canadian Hockey League’s goal-scoring machine torched Val d’Or star goalie Antoine Bibeau for six in two periods, chasing the Leafs pick to the bench while booking a berth in Sunday’s Cup final with a 6-3 victory before 8,796 Monday night at Budweiser Gardens.

For good measure, they held Anthony Mantha and the Foreurs’ potent top line in check. Chadd Bauman, kicked out in the third for a kneeing major, sent Val d’Or star defenceman Guillaume Gelinas to the dressing room favouring his left knee.

Guelph last reached the final 16 years ago when George Burnett’s team lost in overtime to the Portland Winterhawks in Spokane. The Storm have never won the title but the city’s Jacques Martin-coached 1986 Platers, which later moved to Owen Sound, beat Hull in the final at Portland.

Guelph locked up first place in the round-robin portion of the schedule, but it’s not done yet.

The Storm can ensure a much quieter championship final if they end the host London Knights’ season — again — on Wednesday

The Storm also knocked the Knights out of the second round of the playoffs. The way they’re playing, they have a real good chance to celebrate a championship on their Midwest Division rival’s home ice.

They didn’t waste much time overwhelming the Foreurs.

The Storm stuck for three goals 5:50 into the game, forcing Val d’Or head coach to burn his timeout in an effort the regroup.

Bibeau, who stopped all 51 shots he faced Friday against London, surrendered three on Guelph’s first seven shots.

Kerby Rychel finished off a pretty passing play for his third of the tournament in the game’s first minute. Linemate Zack Mitchell’s heavy blow found its mark and Jason Dickinson finished off a strong individual effort with a sneaky low shot.

“We go over stuff like (where to shoot on a goalie),” said Guelph defenceman Nick Ebert, who came over from Windsor with Rychel in the OHL’s blockbuster deal. “There’s different things we can do with each team. There’s just some small things we do, but most importantly, we want to play our game.

“We like to keep it loose and when the game time comes, we turn it up to another level.”

The Storm scored three more in the second period and had 36 shots through two, which was enough for Bibeau.

The Foreurs will play Western league champion Edmonton on Tuesday for a berth in Friday’s semifinal. But it’s clear the Quebec league’s three-year run as Cup champions is in peril.

That danger may have started the moment Rychel arrived in Guelph and was immediately placed on a line with Robby Fabbri and Zack Mitchell.

Their entire line scored a goal.

Durocher, with last change, chose to keep Mantha’s line away from the high-flying trio. It didn’t work.

Guelph’s top defensive pairing of captain Matt Finn and Ebert played a large role in that. Ebert came into the OHL intent on winning a Memorial Cup with the Spitfires, who bid to hold this year’s Cup.

Instead, he is one win away in a Storm uniform.

“When there’s a big trade like that, there’s going to be pressure no matter what,” the Los Angeles Kings draft pick said, “but you’ve just got to handle it. Coming in, Kerby and I had to be big pieces of this team. I think we’ve been big pieces so far and in order to win here, we’re going to have to be the same.”

ryan.pyette@sunmedia.ca

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Storm 6, Foreurs 3

Free Press 3 Stars

1. Zack Mitchell, Storm. Took over early.

2. Scott Kosmachuk, Storm. Effective first line.

3. Matt Finn, Storm. Stuffed Mantha.

First period

1. Guelph, Rychel 3 (Mitchell, Fabbri) 0:59

Beauty passing play.

2. Guelph, Mitchell 1 (Ebert, Finn) 4:00

Heavy shot from overager.

3. Guelph, Dickinson 1 (Kosmachuk, McGinn) 5:50

Good individual effort.

Penalties – Presseault, Vdo (high-sticking) 8:42, Bertuzzi, Gue (delay of game) 11:39, Kosmachuk, Gue, Henley, Vdo (roughing) 15:40, Richard, Vdo (goalie interference) 17:24.

Second period

4. Guelph, Suter 1 (McGinn, Kosmachuk) 8:13

Cleaned up juicy rebound.

5. Val d'Or, Gazzola 1 (Gelinas, Mantha) 11:59 (pp)

Accurate shot from point.

6. Val d'Or, Sille 1 (Presseault, Ouellette-St-Amant) 12:55

Right spot at side of net.

7. Guelph, Fabbri 1 (Mitchell, Rychel) 16:04

Rewarded for scooting to net.

8. Guelph, Bertuzzi 3 (Finn, Kosmachuk) 19:52

Just 7.1 seconds left.

Penalties – Galipeau, Vdo (tripping) 5:58, McGinn, Gue (slashing) 11:20.

Third period

9. Val d'Or, Beauregard 1 (Sille, Fraser) 12:32 (pp)

Cut across on Nichols.

 

Penalties – Graves, Vdo (checking from behind) 4:32, Bauman, Gue (kneeing, game misconduct) 7:50, Gravel, Vdo (slashing) 15:34, Fraser, Vdo (roughing) 18:45, Finn, Gue (holding) 19:11.

 

Shots on goal by

Guelph 19 17 13—49

Val d'Or 13 13 7—33

Goal (shots-saves): Guelph: Nichols (W, 2-0); Val d'Or: Bibeau (36-30) (L, 1-1); Bouchard (13-13, 0:00 of third period)

Power plays (goals-chances): Gue 0-6. Vdo 2-4.

Referees – Mario Maillet, Scott Oakman. Linesmen – Cory Piche, Dustin McCrank.

Attendance – 8,796 (8,863).

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