Early days indeed, but not too early to be frustrated.
The Guelph Storm dropped its home opener Friday night at the Sleeman Centre 4-2 to the Sudbury Wolves, giving the Storm just one point in its first two games.
True, nine players spent time at NHL camps and there always seems to be a bit of an NHL hangover with those players, and the team hasn’t been able to practice with a full compliment of players at all yet.
But neither the players or coach are using that as an excuse.
“We expect a lot more of ourselves,” said Storm forward Nate Schnarr.
“There;s no excuses. We weren’t good enough the last two days and we have to take ownership for it. Get back to work and get ready to go the next game,” Schnarr said.
Schnarr said there’s still a bit of a feeling out process with the players getting used to one another and getting timing down, given that nine players were away for up to two weeks.
“It’s going to take a week of practice to work together and find some chemistry. But it won’t take long, we’ve played together for how many years now?”
With the return of Alexey Toropchenko from the St. Louis Blues camp, only Ryan Merkley remains away at an NHL camp.
Both Guelph goals on Friday came on power plays in the first period, by Schnarr and Liam Hawel, for Hawel his third goal in two games.
But there weren’t many good scoring chances after that as Guelph managed just 22 shots on Wolves netminder Jake McGrath.
Zah Poirier did ring one off the post and both Barrett Kirwin and Keegan Stevenson failed to find the back of the net on breakaways.
Sudbury weathered a spirited start by Guelph and slowly took the game over, particularly in the defensive end where frustration mounted for several Storm forwards.
Drake Pilon’s shorthanded goal at 18:17 of the second period proved to be the winner.
First overall pick in this year’s draft Quinton Byfield iced it with his first career goal on a breakaway late in the third.
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