The Petes roster and bench have both seen change entering Thursday’s game against the Guelph Storm. After Jody Hull was relieved of his head coaching duties on Friday, centre Jonathan Ang was traded to the Sarnia Sting in exchange for second year right winger Brady Hinz and a pair of picks. Coach Andrew Verner, in his second tilt as the team’s head honcho, marked the evening’s 4-2 win as his first as head coach for the Petes.
Christopher Paquette tallied the first Petes shot of the night, picking up a cross ice pass at 18:33 to make Anthony Popovich move for the first time in the game. It appeared the maroon and white didn’t turn the jets on until three minutes into the game, though. The newest member to the hometown roster appeared a great fit beside Pavel Gogolev and Zach Gallant throughout the first period.
Although the Petes had more pep in their step in comparison with previous starts, a giveaway by a hometown d-man allowed Peterborough native Cedric Ralph to walk in on a breakaway and score the game’s first goal, giving the lead to Guelph.
Cole Fraser laid the boom at 12:56, separating the Storm from the puck, shortly turning the momentum in the Electric City Kids’ favour. Guelph saw back-to-back scoring opportunities at 13:39, however Dylan Wells’ rebound control kept the game scoreless.
Just a few minutes later, a gorgeous breakout past from Matt Timms to rookie Chad Denault, then Pavel Gogolev who cut inside Guelph’s blue line, left Gogo with a quick break away and goal to tie the game.
Both Adrien Beraldo and Alex Toropchenko were sent to the sin bin for roughing at 17:07, Toropchenko for an extra two minutes, thus giving the Petes a power play.
The storm nearly escaped the man disadvantage without a Petes goal however a wrist shot from Nikita Korostelev with four seconds left gave the lead to the Petes to enter the second period.
Although Guelph dominated the second, outshooting the Petes 18 -8, the men in maroon maintained the one goal advantage.
The initial six minutes saw the Storm keep puck possession in the offensive, as the Petes only method of breakout appeared to be via icing. The constant puck control was rewarded for Guelph after a defensive breakdown by the maroon and white allowed Nate Schnarr to walk off the boards and feed Cam Hillis who tapped the rubber past Wells. The game was now tied: 2-2.
The Petes saw a glimmer of hope when Ryan Merkley took a two minute holding penalty, following his disruption of Gogolev’s net drive. The men in maroon moved to 2/2 on the power play as a crisp pass from Nick Robertson was one timed by Bobby Dow, leaving the score 3-2 to enter the third.
More energy was brought on behalf of the Petes throughout the third period, however it was met with equal pressure from Guelph who continued to put pucks on net.
The lift lock lads struggled with turnovers in their own end however they did produce some notable odd man rushes, often with Paquette and Robertson in the mix.
3:30 saw Guelph with their second 3 on 1 of the evening, but the pad work of Wells once again prevented the visitors from scoring. With a 1:40 left in the period, Guelph opted for an extra skater in exchange for an empty net.
The extra skater did not prove useful for the Storm as Koro tallied his second of the evening, sliding the puck into the goalie-less net after deking several sprawling Storm.
First Star: Wells (30)
Second Star: Korostelev (25)
Third Star: Ralph (14)
Hardest Working: Dow (14)
The Petes return home Saturday evening for a match against the Ottawa 67’s at 7:05 pm. Game tickets are available starting at $8 through the Collins Barrow PMC Box Office, online, or by phone at (705) 743-3561.
Petes Holiday Flex Packs are available while supplies last. Receive four regular bowl flex vouchers to be used at any remaining January home games, as well as two Petes rocks glasses for just $59.99, a savings of over 40%. Don’t forget to download the free Petes Mobile App, available for iPhone or Android devices.