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Game Preview: Storm look to play spoiler against the Otters

The Guelph make their final road stop of the season with a trip to Erie to face the Otters in game two of their three-in-three weekend. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 pm.

Following a big 4-2 victory over the Sarnia Sting on Friday night, the Guelph Storm (21-38-4-2, 5th in the Midwest) will look to make it two in a row against the CHL’s best Erie Otters (49-15-2-1, 1st Midwest). With the win Friday night, the Storm snapped an eight-game skid, with their previous win prior to the slump coming against the Otters.

It’s the Otters last home game of the season, and it’s an important one, as they sit just one win away from the 50-win mark. Erie is also in a tight race for the top spot in the Western Conference, just three points ahead of the streaking Owen Sound Attack, who have a game in hand.

The Midwest divisional contest is sure to be entertaining as both teams have taken each other to their limits in one of the closest matchup’s of the year.

Puck Drop is scheduled for 7:00pm.

Season Series

Oct. 14: Guelph 3 vs. Erie 4 OT
Boxscore for Oct. 14

Nov. 2: Guelph 4 @ Erie 5 SO
Boxscore for Nov. 2

Dec. 2: Guelph 3 vs. Erie 1
Boxscore for Dec. 2

Jan. 28: Guelph 1 @ Erie 9
Boxscore for Jan. 28

Feb. 24: Guelph 4 vs. Erie 2

Boxscore for Feb. 24

 

Player Watch

  • Guelph Storm

With two points on Friday night, Ryan Merkley extended his point streak to three games and joined Isaac Ratcliffe atop of the team scoring with 52 points. However, the biggest play of the game might’ve come late in the third, with the Storm up by one-goal, Merkley raced back and made a tremendous poke check to stop the Sting’s breakaway attempt. In total, the Mississauga, Ontario native has 11 goals and 41 assists for 52 points in 60 games played.

Earning first star in the Storm’s Friday night win, was Chatham, Ontario native James McEwan. The Guelph veteran put together a dominate performance registering two points and eight shots in the victory. McEwan was also a major piece in the Storm’s win over Erie on February 28, scoring two goals. In total, the five-foot-11, 196-pound forward has 18 goals and 20 assists for 38 points in 56 games.

Slated to get the start in goal, is Storm rookie Anthony Popovich. The Belleville, Ontario native had one of his best outings of the season against the Erie Otters on February 28, making 44 saves in the 4-2 win. Popovich will be looking for a repeat performance to finish the season. The six-foot-one, 174-pound goaltender has a record of 7-16-2, with a goals against average of 4.59 and a save percentage of 0.875.

  • Erie Otters

It has been quite the season for Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex DeBrincat, the Bloomington Hills, Michigan native has become the Otter’s all-time leading goal scorer, surpassed Rob Schremp as the OHL’s all-time American goal-scoring leader, become the second player to score 50 goals in three straight season since Dale McCourt, and tied Mark Ricci’s record of scoring a goal in 19 straight games. With just one more game to go the Veteran will look to add to his point total of 64 goals and 61 assists for 125 points in 62 games, with more records at stake.

Dylan Strome has been a dominant force since his return from the Arizona Coyotes.The Mississauga, Ontario native has been a huge contributor on the ice for the Otters this season, recording 22 goals and 53 assists for 75 points in 34 games played. In what is his final regular season junior game, Strom will look to close out a fantastic season and extend his point-streak to five games.

Rounding out the Otters trio, is OHL Defenceman of the Year candidate, Darren Raddysh. The overage defender has broke out in a big way scoring 30 more points than his career high set two seasons ago. The Caledon, Ontario native has a healthy eight-point lead in OHL defenceman scoring with 16 goals and 62 assists for 78 points in 61 games played.

Game Notes:

  • This will be the sixth and final meeting between the Midwest Divisional rivals.
  • Erie currently leads the season series 3-2.
  • Isaac Ratcliffe extended his point streak to four games.
  • Garrett McFadden extended his point streak to three games.
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