Game Preview: Storm look to win season series versus Saginaw
Following a lopsided defeat to the Knights, the Guelph Storm return to action hosting the Saginaw Spirit for Guelph Chamber of Commerce night, puck drop is slated for 7:30 pm.
The Guelph Storm (20-36-4-2, 5th Midwest) will have a chance to play spoiler Friday night when they play host to the Saginaw Spirit (24-29-7-2, 5th West). The Spirit currently sit six points behind the Sarnia Sting for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
The Spirit will be in town as part of a 3 game road trip. Having played in Flint just 2 nights prior, they will have momentum on their side, after coming off a huge 5-4 shootout victory over the Firebirds.
Friday night is the final time these two teams will square off with the Storm currently leading the season series 2-1.
Puck drop is slated for 7:30 pm.
Sept. 23: Guelph 5 vs Saginaw 1
Boxscore for Sept. 23
Sept 24: Guelph 2 @ Saginaw 1
Boxscore for Sept. 24
Nov. 27: Guelph 2 @ Saginaw 4
Boxscore for Nov. 27
- Guelph Storm
Isaac Ratcliffe will look to return to his scoring form registering just three points over his last 10 games. Despite not being on the scoresheet, the London, Ontario has continued his strong play for the Storm recording at least three shots on net in six of his past 10 games, as well as improving in other areas of the ice. Currently second in team scoring, the six-foot-six, 195-pound forward has 23 goals and 22 assists for 45 points in 61 games including two points against the Spirit.
When looking at the matchup, Storm rookie Nate Schnarr had one of his best games against the Spirit in the season-opener, recording a goal and an assist in a 5-1 victory. The Waterloo, Ontario native has four points in his last six games and will hope to build off that on Friday night. The six-foot-three, 180-pound forward sits seventh in team scoring with 16 goals and 14 assists for 30 points in 48 games played.
Switching to the blue line, veteran Kyle Rhodes has had plenty of individual success against the Spirit registering a point in all three previous contests (!G, 2A). The Powhatan, Virginia native has stepped with a variety of injuries on the Storm’s blue line, playing heavy minutes against some of the league’s best. In total, the six-foot-two, 209-pound defenceman has three goals and 11 assists for 14 points in 59 games played.
- Saginaw Spirit
A key piece to the Spirit’s thrilling 5-4 shootout victory over the Firebirds last Wednesday was overage forward Kris Bennett. The Brampton, Ontario native earned first star honours following his three-point night. Scoring twice on Wednesday, the overage forward matched his career-high in goals set last season. Currently riding a three-game point streak, Bennett has a total of 24 goals and 26 assists for 50 points in 62 games played.
The Spirit will be looking towards defenseman, Keaton Middleton, to provide some much-needed toughness, leading the Spirit into battle as they chase down a playoff spot. The fourth round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft measures in at six-foot-five and 235-pounds creating a major presence on the Spirit’s blue line. The defensive defenceman has four goals and 14 assists for 18 points in 59 games, already doubling his points total from last season.
Sticking with the Spirit’s blue-line, Detroit Red Wings prospect Filip Hronek has had a successful first year in the OHL currently ranked second in team scoring and fourth in OHL defenceman scoring. The Byst, Czech Republic native is producing over a point per game with 12 goal and 45 assists for 57 points in 54 games played.
- Friday’s game is the 4th and final game of the season for these 2 teams.
- Guelph leads the season series 2-1.
- This weekend the Storm play at home on Friday, March 10, against the Saginaw Spirit and on Sunday, March 12, versus the London Knights, giving Storm fans the chance to take advantage of the Weekend Pass ticket deal! For more information on the Weekend Pass deal, click here!
- Wednesday, March 15: Head on over to Buffalo Wild Wings on Harvard Road for the annual Buffalo Wild Wings Charity Server night. Storm players will serve guests and meet fans from 6-8pm in support of Guelph Wish Fund for Children. For more information, click here!
The 2016-17 Season is proudly presented by RBC