Game Preview: Storm host Rangers at 2pm

In the final game of the weekend, Guelph welcomes Kitchener to the Sleeman Centre Sunday at 2:00 pm. The Rangers lead the season series 4-1 with three contests to go. In January, the Storm and Rangers completed the first ever trade between the two rivals with the Storm sending Smith to Kitchener in exchange for three 2nd round selections. January 21st, was the first game Smith played against his former squad and the Brampton native scored the first Rangers goals and set up the short-handed insurance marker as Kitchener defeated Guelph 4-2.

Kitchener Rangers

Since acquiring Mario Culina, Logan Brown, Givani Smith and Austin McEneny around the trade deadline, the Rangers have 15 wins and 6 losses and currently have clinched the sit 2nd spot in the Western Conference Playoff race.

Of the 5 games Kitchener and Guelph have against each other this year, the Rangers has won 4 and outscored the Storm 27-16.

Guelph Storm

Following up a disappointing loss to Flint, Guelph stormed into Owen Sound, winning the game 8-3. That win and a Saginaw loss, helped them leapfrog the Spirit in the standings, putting them 6th in the West. With a record of 28-25-4-4 and 64 points, the Storm are two points up on the Spirit and one point up on Windsor in the playoff race.

Guelph’s hottest player right now is Alexey Toropchenko. With a point streak of 5 games, he has put up 7 points in that stretch. Toropchenko’s point total has now grown to 35 this season, scoring 15 goals and 20 assists.

Head to Head

2017-18 Regular Season
KIT 4-1-0-0 GUE 1-4-0-0
2016-17 Regular Season
KIT 6-2-0-0 GUE 2-5-1-0
Last Five Years
KIT 21-16-0-0 GUE 16-20-1-0
Last Five Years At Kitchener
KIT 14-5-0-0 GUE 5-14-0-0
Last Five Years At Guelph
KIT 7-11-0-0 GUE 11-6-1-0
Previous Meetings This Season
Top Scorers
Kitchener Guelph
Last 5 Games
Kitchener Guelph
2 – 3 L v. Oshawa (2018-03-02)
6 – 3 W v. Sarnia (2018-02-27)
5 – 6 L v. Flint (2018-03-02)
2 – 5 L v. Ottawa (2018-02-25)
3 – 5 L @ Barrie (2018-02-24)
3 – 2 W @ Ottawa (2018-02-19)
Match Up
Kitchener Guelph
Season Record 40-19-2-0 28-25-4-4
Last 10 Games 6-4-0-0 2-4-3-1
Streak 0-1-0-0 1-0-0-0
Last Game 3-2 L vs Oshawa (2018-03-02) Final 8-3 W @ Owen Sound (2018-03-03) Final
Home Record 20-9-1-0 16-9-4-2
Away Record 20-10-1-0 12-16-0-2
Goals For 220 205
Goals Against 192 232
Power Plays 45/206 (21.8%) 50/224 (22.3%)
Power Plays – Home 25/102 (24.5%) 20/109 (18.3%)
Power Plays – Away 20/104 (19.2%) 30/115 (26.1%)
Penalty Killing 38/227 (83.3%) 41/208 (80.3%)
Penalty Killing – Home 21/103 (79.6%) 18/108 (83.3%)
Penalty Killing – Away 17/124 (86.3%) 23/100 (77%)
Leading Rookie York (3-4-7) Hillis (19-35-54)
Most Penalty Minutes Logan Stanley Ryan Merkley
Team PIM/GM 9.8/61 9/61

Players to Watch

13 players highlight this game as players with NHL affiliation, 12 pf them going in the NHL Draft. Kitchener’s Connor Hall (Pittsburgh Penguins), Logan Brown (Ottawa Senators), Logan Stanley (Winnipeg Jets), Adam Mascherin (Florida Panthers) Givani Smith (Detroit Red Wings) and Connor Bunnaman (Philadelphia Flyers) have all been drafted, while Kole Sherwood (Columbus Blue Jackets) was signed as a free agent. Guelph has the other 6 players, all of whom have been drafted. Forwards Liam Hawel (Dallas Stars), Nate Schnarr (Arizona Coyotes), Alexey Toropchenko (St. Louis Blues), Isaac Ratcliffe (Philadelphia Flyers) and defencemen Mark Shoemaker (San Jose Sharks) and Dmitri Samorukov (Edmonton Oilers) are those drafted players.

This will be Givani Smith’s first game back in Guelph since being traded at the deadline. He has played against the Storm in Kitchener, scoring a goal and 2 assists. Overall, he has 16 goals and 11 assists for 27 points this season, 16 of them coming with Kitchener. Liam Hawel has also been one of Guelph’s hottest players, with 3 multi-point games in the last 5 games. He has taken over the 5th spot in Guelph’s leading scorers this year with 13 goals and 26 assists for 39 points in his first full season with the Storm.

Upcoming Games

The Storm will travel to London for a mid-week matchup on Wednesday, March 7th. Guelph has picked up 5 points against London this year, with the last game going to London in overtime. The next home game will be on Friday, March 9th when the Storm host the Saginaw Spirit in an important match-up with definite playoff implications.

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