Rounding out their three game road, the first place west division (33-3-2-1) Soo Greyhounds met the third place midwest division (19-15-1-3) Guelph Storm in a Ontario Hockey League regular season afternoon matinee on January 7th in Guelph, Ontario.
With one second left in the Greyhound power play, Morgan Frost fires the opening goal from the left on Guelph netminder Anthony Popovich at 2:46 of the first to give the Soo a 1 – 0 lead. Boris Katchouk and Tim Gettinger drew the helpers on Frost’s 23rd of the season. At 4:03 of the period, Jack Kopacka picks up the rebound and scores his 20th on the season for Greyhounds with Barrett Hayton adding the assist on Soo’s second of the contest. 18 seconds later, Hayden Verbeek cuts across in front of Popovich and sinks a backhand goal for his 14th of the season with a Soo unassisted goal to give the visitors a 3 – 0 lead. Liam Hawel and James Mcewan set up Storm’s second of the game with Alexey Toropchenko’s goal at 5:32 of the period to pull Guelph within two. With a pass from behind Greyhound goaltender Matt Villalta’s net from Cam Hillis, Issac Ratcliffe closes the gap to one for the hosts 3:10 into the middle stanza.
Barrett Hayton shoves the puck past Popovich in Guelph’s crease 12:58 into the period to bring the Greyhounds lead to 4 – 2. Anthony DeMeo and Katchouk had the contributors on Hayton’s 16th of the season. With 1:50 remaining in the period, Ryan Roth sends the Soo into the second intermission up 5 – 2 with Kopacka and Rasmus Sandin notching Roth’s tenth on the season. At 3:47 of the final period, Morgan Frost scores his second of the contest to add to the lead with Hayton and Conor Timmins registering the assists on Frost’s power play goal. With an unassisted goal Guelph goal, Sault Ste Marie native Keegan Stevenson sinks his first Ontario Hockey League career goal at 8:33 of the third for the Storm’s third goal of the game. With the Greyhounds shorthanded, Boris Katchouk finds the back of the Storm’s net for the final goal of the game at 11:16 of the period to give the Soo a 7 – 3 win over Guelph. Matt Villalta made 30 saves in the Greyhounds 34th win of the 2017 – 2018 season.
The Soo will return to Sault Ste Marie for a mid week match – up when they play host to the Saginaw Spirit on Wednesday January 10th at the Essar Centre in a 7:07 p.m puck drop.