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MacKenzie Entwistle’s Guelph Storm back on the ropes in OHL playoffs

Guelph down 3-1 to Saginaw in Western Conference Final.

https://www.wellandtribune.ca/opinion-story/9296401-scott-radley-ohl-whiffs-on-suspensions/

MacKenzie Entwistle’s second straight Ontario Hockey League conference final has been a bit up and down through four games.

His Guelph Storm are embroiled in a tough series with the Saginaw Spirit following a reverse sweep over the London Knights in the second round. An injury scare in Game 2 could have been a major setback for both Entwistle and the Storm, but the Blackhawks forward prospect was able to return for Game 3.

Entwistle, of course, helped the Hamilton Bulldogs win a league championship a year ago, and was acquired by Guelph in an effort to boost the Storm’s chances of lifting the Robertson Cup in 2019.

Here’s how Entwistle has fared in the series so far.

Game 1: Saginaw 7, Guelph 2

Entwistle: 1 primary assist (even strength), 1 shot, 1 for 2 in faceoffs.

This goal by Isaac Ratcliffe was set up nicely by an Entwistle backhand pass. It opened the scoring for Guelph, but it was all Saginaw from there.

Game 2: Saginaw 4, Guelph 3 (OT)

Entwistle: 1 secondary assist (even strength), 1 shot, 0 for 2 in faceoffs.

The big story in this game as it pertained to Entwistle was a third period elbow to the head delivered by the Spirit’s Justin Murray that knocked the Guelph forward out of the rest of the contest.

Murray was suspended four games as a result of the incident, while Entwistle’s status was up in the air for Game 3.

Game 3: Guelph 5, Saginaw 2

Entwistle: 0 points, 5 shots, 4 for 10 in faceoffs.

A game time decision as a result of the hit taken above, Entwistle did indeed suit up for Game 3, but he started on the fourth line. He didn’t hit the score sheet but was able to record a handful of shots and post a 40-percent success rate at the dot.

Game 4: Saginaw 4, Guelph 1

Entwistle: 0 points, 3 shots, 1 for 3 in faceoffs.

Bumped up to the third line for this one, Entwistle was flanked by Blues prospect Alexey Toropchenko and another Russian forward in Pavel Gogolev. The offense wasn’t flowing, and the Storm are now in danger of having their season come to an end as early as Friday.

Updated playoff stat line:

5 goals (1 PP), 9 assists (1 PP), 33 shots, 25 for 60 in faceoffs.

Entwistle has dropped to below a point per game average for the postseaon, and has been held off the scoresheet in two games since his jaw was rocked. It seems reasonable to suggest he’s not quite 100 percent, but he’s out there trying to do his thing and extend his junior career one game at a time in the process.

Up next:

Game 5, Fri., April 26 at Saginaw, 7:07 p.m.

Game 6, Sun., April 28 at Guelph, 2 p.m.*

Game 7, Mon., April 29 at Saginaw, 7:07 p.m.*