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Game Preview: Storm close home-stand with a visit from the Knights

Following a massive 4-2 victory over the CHL’s top-ranked Erie Otters, the Guelph Storm are right back at it facing the London Knights, the CHL’s fourth-ranked team, in a Sunday matinee.

Limited tickets are still available for Sunday’s game and can be purchased by visiting the Storm Box Office at Old Quebec St. Shoppes, by phone at 519-837-9690 or by clicking HERE to buy online.  

In a season with peaks and valleys, the Guelph Storm (20-32-3-2, 5th Midwest) enter Sunday feeling pretty good, after snapping the Otters 14-game win streak in a full team effort. However, the tough weekend continues for the Storm as the London Knights (39-11-3-4) make their second visit to the Sleeman Centre.

Closing a three-in-three weekend, the Knights will be looking for a better result following a 7-3 loss to the Owen Sound Attack. The Knights have split the first two games of their three-in-three, scoring a win Friday night against the Spitfires. Over their last 10 gam

London currently leads the season 3-0, but have had their troubles at the Sleeman Centre in recent history with a record of 6-6-0-1.

Puck drop is scheduled for 2:00 pm.

Season Series

Nov. 12: Guelph 1 @ London 4
Boxscore from Nov. 12

Nov. 26: Guelph 3 vs. London 5
Boxscore from Nov. 26

Dec. 16: Guelph 1 @ London 4
Boxscore from Dec. 16 

Player Watch

  • Guelph Storm

Expected make his second straight start, Anthony Popovich will look for another monster performance versus the Knights. Coming off a 44-save win against the Otters, the Belleville, Ontario native has now had back-to-back strong outing with a save percentage of 0.957. The rookie goaltender now has a record of 7-13-1 and is in line to make his second start against the Knights.

Another big piece for the Storm, in Friday night’s win, was veteran James McEwan. The Chatham, Ontario native had two first-period goals to help get the Storm out in front early on. Following an injury to Storm defender Kyle Rhodes, McEwan stepped up and took regular shifts on the blue line. The gutsy performance saw McEwan named the first star of the game. In total, McEwan has 15 goals and 15 assists for 30 points in 47 games.

Moving the Storm’s defence group, rookie defenceman Dmitri Samorukov has had a strong run as of late on both sides of the puck. With a few key names missing on the back-end the Volgograd, Russian native continues to step up and be a powerful presence on the blue line. The six-foot-two, 180-pound defender continues to develop his offence register a point in four of his past five games. In total, Samorukov has four goals and 14 assists for 18 points in 56 games played.

 

  • London Knights

Leading the charge for the Knights offence is third-year forward Cliff Pu. The Buffalo Sabres prospect is eighth in OHL scoring and enters Sunday riding a five-game point streak. Enjoying individual success against the Storm, the Richmond Hill, Ontario native have five points in three games. In total, Pu has registered 32 goals and 42 assists for 74 points in 53 games played.

With this being the first contest post trade deadline between the two teams, it will be the first time the Storm face former Spirt captain Mitchell Stephens. A member of Team Canada at the past two IIHF World Junior Championships Stephens enters Sunday just two points back of his total set in his sophomore season. In total, the Tampa Bay Lightning prospect has 20 goals and 25 assists for 46 points in 42 games. Including two points in his lone game versus the Storm.

Rounding out the Knights trio is another deadline-day acquisition by the Knights, Mitchell Vande Sompel, a prospect of the New York Islanders. The London, Ontario native has recorded 19 goals and 31 assists for 50 points in 57 games. The veteran defender has one point in his lone contest with the Storm, back when he was a member of the Oshawa Generals.

GAME NOTES

  • This is the fourth of six meetings between the divisional foes.
  • The Knights lead the season series.

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The 2016-17 Season is proudly presented by RBC

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