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Baptism by fire for Guelph Storm rookies

Tony Saxon/GuelphToday

By Tony Saxon, Guelph Today

For Cam Hillis, it was always a matter of when he would play for the Guelph Storm, not if.

The rookie centre was one of six Storm players who played their first game in the OHL Friday night, as the Storm opened the regular season with a 4-3 shootout loss to the Sarnia Sting.

A second-round draft pick in 2016, Hillis didn’t report to the team last season and was committed to an NCAA scholarship at Providence College.

This year he was scheduled to play tier II hockey in British Columbia before he and his family changed their minds and signed with the Storm.

“No disrespect to NCAA hockey, I’m sure it’s a great route for a lot of people, but I felt this was such a good opportunity and I can’t turn it down. I’m ready to play against the top competition now,” Hillis said.

“I kind of knew I was going to end up here all along after Guelph drafted me and I love it here. There couldn’t be a better spot I’d rather be.”

Hillis picked up an assist in his first game. Russian import rookie Alexey Toropchenko had a goal and an assist and first round pick Tag Bertuzzi had an assist.

“I come from St. Andrews, we didn’t get a lot of fans there,” Hillis said of the difference between playing at the Sleeman Centre and the private school he attended last year. “It’s certainly a lot different here. I like it a lot.”

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