By: Barre Campbell
Photo: Valerie Wutti – Blitzen Photography
OTTAWA – Sam Studnicka scored the first hat trick of his Ontario Hockey League career and the Ottawa 67’s continued a remarkable string of victories on home ice, downing the Guelph Storm 8-5 on Sunday at TD Place.
The win elevated the 67’s to a 9-8-0-1 record and kept the team undefeated at TD Place in six starts since returning to Lansdowne after spending two seasons at Canadian Tire Centre.
The teams were tied 3-3 in the middle period when Jacob Middleton scored during a power play for Ottawa to give the 67’s the lead for good.
Studnicka’s hat trick goal during the opening minute of the third lifted Ottawa into a two-goal advantage, just after the Storm charged out of gate with a flurry of activity in the 67’s zone.
Studnicka has five goals this season and Sunday’s three-goal outburst has put him well on the way of already matching his total of eight goals during the 2013-14 campaign.
“We’ve got guys who are stepping up, getting confidence and starting to play great, guys you wouldn’t expect to be leading the way,” said 67’s coach Jeff Brown, referring to Studnicka and other players who have been making offensive contributions.
“It’s great every time our secondary scoring can step up,” said Studnicka. “To get the win is huge and we’re just looking to build on it.”
Rookie Nathan Todd scored twice for the 67’s, his first two goals in the OHL, while veterans Jeremiah Addison and Dante Salituro also counted for Ottawa who outshot the Storm, 35-23.
Tyler Hill picked up three assists for Ottawa, while rookies Travis Barron, Trent Mallette and Ben Fanjoy had a pair of helpers each.
The 67’s look to make it seven straight wins at TD Place next on Friday, November 21 against the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds for a 7:30 p.m. face off.
Ottawa also plays the Kingston Frontenacs on Saturday, November 22 at 2 p.m. at TD Place before hosting the Barrie Colts on Monday, November 24 at 10:30 a.m. at Canadian Tire Centre for the annual School Day Game.