The Guelph Storm did a little forward thinking as they battled to beat the Sarnia Sting 3-2 in overtime.
With Michael Buchinger, Rylan Singh and Quinn Beauchesne out of the line up, the Storm went with five regular defensemen for Friday’s game against the Sting. That included the return of Cam Allen who suited up for the Storm in his first game of the OHL season, and Gavin Grundner, normally a winger, who saw most of his ice time in the game as the team’s sixth defenceman.
Buchinger is out another 6 to 8 weeks after having surgery last week to repair a torn tendon while Singh and Beauchesne were both experiencing flu-like symptoms.
Allen, the Washington Capitals’ fifth round pick in last year’s NHL Entry Draft, missed 42 games recovering from shoulder surgery back in August.
“If it was my decision, I would have come back earlier,” said Allen. “The surgeon has to cover his basis and let me go when I’m ready. I think he did a good job of that and I feel a hundred percent now.”
The Storm were coming off a one-week lay off but one player who was keeping busy was Jett Luchanko. The forward was back from Moncton, New Brunswick where he took part in the CHL Top Prospects game on Wednesday, and had two assists to go along with his game-winning goal on Friday.
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“It was a great experience, they treated us very well,” said Luchanko of being in the prospects game. “It was really nice to meet people from all over Canada and play with some really good players at the end of the day.”
With no Buchinger, Luchanko saw some time on the power play on the point as the Storm’s first power play unit went with five forwards.
All the goals in regulation came with the man advantage. Kai Schwindt got one for the Sting (17-25-3-0) late in the first period.
Braeden Bowman and Max Namestikov (1 goal, 1 assist each) answered to give the Storm (25-16-2-1) a 2-1 lead in the second period before former Storm Marco Sikic replied later in the period for Sarnia to tie it up at 2-2.
“We had a tough first (period) but we battled back,” said Luchanko. “I was happy with our performance tonight and we ended up getting the win.”
Both teams finished 2-for-4 on the power play.
As for Allen, he didn’t appear to show signs of rust as he took a regular shift in the game and saw time on the penalty kill.
“It was a little bit of an adjustment,” Allen said. “Everything I’ve done for the last five or eight months since my last game was leading up to today. I felt as good as I could.”
Brayden Gillespie stopped 22 shots for the Storm while Nick Surzycia made 18 saves for the Sting.
The Storm’s next game is Sunday afternoon when they travel to Owen Sound to take on the Attack. Listen to the game on 1460 CJOY with the broadcast starting at 1:45 p.m.
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