Down 1-0 in the series, the Storm threw everything they had at Rangers’ goaltender John Gibson, but couldn’t solve the Anaheim Ducks’ prospect in a 2-0 loss.
After two straight games in Kitchener, the best-of-seven series shifts to the Sleeman Centre on Tuesday night for Game Three with Game Four in Guelph on Thursday at 7.
Two days after falling 5-2 at the Aud, the Storm needed a fast start and they got just that as they fired 20 shots on Gibson in the first 10 minutes including a number of great scoring chances. Despite outshooting their hosts 23-11 in a hectic first period, the Storm went to the break deadlocked 0-0 with Ryan Horvat in the box to open the second for 82 seconds.
After surrendering four Kitchener powerplay goals on their first five attempts, Guelph made some changes on their penalty kill and it showed right away in the middle twenty. The Rangers were kept to the outside and the point shots were all but eliminated. The game was scoreless until the middle of the second when Kitchener capitalized on a Guelph turnover. After Justin Bailey picked off an errant centering pass, the second year forward circled the Storm zone before snapping a quick shot on Garret Sparks. The Guelph netminder kicked out Bailey’s effort, but Matt Puempel was on the doorstep to bang home his second of the series.
Coming out of the second intermission, the Storm were hemmed in early and the pressure paid off for Kitchener. Once again, the Rangers capitalized on a failed clearing attempt and two quick passes found Eric Ming open in the high slot for a one-timer that beat Sparks at the 1:59 mark. The Rangers limited the Storm’s scoring chances late and when Guelph did get some pressure, a Kitchener player iced the puck to solve the problem. Down a pair late and shorthanded for the final two minutes, tempers erupted setting up another heated playoff battle on Tuesday in Guelph.
Guelph Storm 0 at Kitchener Rangers 2 – Status: End of Game
Sunday, March 24, 2013 – Kitchener Memorial Auditorium
Guelph 0 0 0 – 0
Kitchener 0 1 1 – 2
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Pedan Gue (roughing), 9:43; Thomson Kit (roughing), 9:43; Horvat Gue (slashing), 19:22.
2nd Period-1, Kitchener, Puempel 2 (Bailey), 10:18. Penalties-Bailey Kit (holding), 8:03; Fanelli Kit (slashing), 11:00.
3rd Period-2, Kitchener, Ming 1 (Meighan, Alberga), 1:59. Penalties-Bertuzzi Gue (boarding), 4:08; Bertuzzi Gue (roughing, roughing), 18:08; Gibson Kit (roughing), 18:08; Mitchell Gue (high sticking), 18:40; McNaughton Gue (slashing, misc-usc), 19:00; Pedan Gue (high sticking), 19:00; Puempel Kit (slashing), 19:00; Horvat Gue (roughing), 19:25.
Shots on Goal-Guelph 23-13-13-49. Kitchener 11-16-13-40.
Power Play Opportunities-Guelph 0 / 2; Kitchener 0 / 5.
Goalies-Guelph, Sparks 0-1-0-0 (38 shots-36 saves); Nishi 0-0-0-0 (2 shots-2 saves). Kitchener, Gibson 1-0-0-0 (49 shots-49 saves).
Referees-Bob Langdon (7), Sean Reid (26).
Linesmen-Adam Harris (49), Mike Harrington (90).