OTTAWA – The Guelph Storm have a chance to capture the Ontario Hockey League championship on home ice.
Cedric Ralph and Isaac Ratcliffe scored 13 seconds apart in the first period as Guelph went on to beat the host Ottawa 67’s, 4-3 in Game 5 of the OHL final on Friday.
Nate Schnarr and Alexey Toropchenko also scored for the Storm, who lead the best-of-seven final 3-2 and can win the J. Ross Robertson Cup on Sunday when they host Game 6.
Guelph forward Nick Suzuki tacked on an assist for his league-high 39th point of the post-season.
Tye Felhaber struck twice and has a playoff-leading 17 goals, while Sasha Chmelevski had the other for the 67’s.
Anthony Popovich made 28 saves for Guelph as Cedrick Andree turned aside 25-of-29 shots for Ottawa.
Andree has been called upon in the series after starter Mikey DiPietro went down with an injury in Game 2.
Ottawa trails in a series for the first time this post-season. The 67’s swept their first three opponents and took the first two against Guelph to extend their playoff win streak to 14 games before the Storm took the next three.
Guelph was the first fourth-seeded team in the West to win its conference this season when it knocked off the Saginaw Spirit for the Wayne Gretzky Trophy.
The Storm erased a 3-1 deficit against the Spirit while also coming back from trailing 3-0 against the London Knights in the second round to reach the championship.
Game 7 returns to Ottawa on Monday if needed. The Arena at TD Place at 8,855 on hand Friday for a the second straight sellout.
The winner advances to the Memorial Cup in Halifax, which begins May 17.