Dane Fox, Sondre Olden and Luke Cairns all scored in the shootout, with Cairns netting the winning goal in a 3-2 win against Guelph in front of 2,507 at Tullio Arena Wednesday night. Once Ramis Sadikov stopped Hunter Garlent on the game’s final attempt, the Otters had their 10th win of the season.
Sadikov finished with 40 saves on 42 shots in regulation and overtime and two more on four shots in the shootout. The Otters (10-45-3-2), which had a goal and assist apiece from Cairns and Connor Brown earlier in the game, snapped a three-game losing streak and kept the Storm (25-28-2-4) from securing a critical extra point in the OHL’s Western Conference standings.
The Storm (56 points) are now tied with Sault Ste. Marie, which beat Sarnia 8-2 at home Wednesday, for the eighth and final playoff spot. The Storm have two games in hand and nine games left overall.
The teams played to a scoreless tie in the opening period. The Otters took a 1-0 lead on Cairns goal, off assists from Brown and Fox, 6 minutes, 17 seconds into the second period. Guelph tied the score at 1 on Kyle Pereira’s goal 1:24 later. That score lasted until early in the third, when Brown scored on the power play – his 21st goal of the season – 4:48 into the period. Garlent’s power-play goal with 10:12 left in regulation tied the score at 2. But Sadikov forced overtime by stopping 18-of-19 shots in the period.
The teams managed only three shots on goal in the five-minute overtime. But they combined for five goals on eight shots in the shootout. Fox and the Storm’s Francis Menard scored in the opening round.
The Storm’s Jason Dickinson matched Sondre Olden’s goal in the third round to send the teams into a sudden-death round. Cairns slipped a shot past Storm goaltender Garret Sparks (21 saves). Garlent wasn’t able to do the same against Sadikov, sealing the Otters’ victory despite being outshot 42-24.
- Victor Fernandes