Game Preview: Storm ready for battle with red-hot Attack
The Highway Six rivalry will be renewed Wednesday night when the Guelph Storm face the Owen Sound Attack in Owen Sound for a 7:00 pm puck drop.
Looking to put last week behind them, the Guelph Storm (14-22-2-2, 5th Midwest) will have their hands full Wednesday night as they travel up Highway Six to face rivals, the Owen Sound Attack (26-13-1-0, 3rd Midwest).
The Highway Six rivalry has been an entertaining series as always currently deadlocked at two wins each. However, both teams have had very different fortunes since their last time facing each other, an 8-1 win for the Attack.
After the tough loss, the Storm won four of their next five matches before dropping their last five straight matches. Their five-game skid is the second-longest slide of the season and the Storm are in danger of matching the longest streak of six straight games.
The Attack, however, have been soaring high as their 8-1 victory helped kick start a 10-game win streak which they put on the line Wednesday night against the Storm. In that stretch, the Attack have scored 49 goals while only conceding 10.
Puck drop is slated for 7:00 PM.
Oct. 1: Guelph 4 @ Owen Sound 2
Oct. 26: Guelph 2 @ Owen Sound 5
Oct. 28: Guelph 3 vs. Owen Sound 1
Dec. 9: Guelph 1 vs. Owen Sound 8
- Guelph Storm
There are only three players to have appeared in every Storm game this season, one of them being sophomore winger and Storm leading scorer, Isaac Ratcliffe. The London native continues to impress each week as a key piece to the Storm’s offence. Ratcliffe has also played well in the Highway Six series recording points in three of four games thus far. In total, the six-foot-six, 195-pound forward has 18 goals and 17 assists for 35 points in 40 games.
Moving to the Storm’s blue line, rookie Dmitri Samorukov is coming off a Player of the Week performance as he hits the midway point of his first OHL season. The Moscow native has seen his role continuously grow over the season and has played some heavy minutes as of late. The first-year import showed off his hard shot from the point blasting the puck past the Wolves goalie to score his third of the season. In total, Samorukov has three goals and nine assists for 12 points in 39 games.
Wednesday night will be a milestone game for recent Storm acquisition Nolan Makkonen. The Storm’s ninth round selection of the 2015 OHL Priority Selection signed with the team on Monday afternoon and is set to make his debut with the team Wednesday night. The Sault Ste. Marie native spent the first half of the year with the Soo Eagles of the NOJHL where he recorded a goal and two assists for three points in 31 games.
- Owen Sound Attack
The Owen Sound Attack’s lineup features the league’s top goalies, Michael McNiven. The Georgetown native has eight of his last 10, including two shutouts in the stretch. The Montreal Canadiens prospect leads the league in goals against average and save percentage and sits second in the league in wins and shutouts. McNiven has made two starts against Guelph this season going 1-1 giving up four goals in those two games. In total, the six-foot-one, 212-pound netminder boasts a record of 21-7-1, with a 2.08 GAA and a .924 save percentage.
Owen Sound’s offence also packs a punch featuring two of the league’s top-15 scorers. The Attacks leading scorer is London native Nick Suzuki. The sophomore centre has made strong strides forward following an impressive rookie campaign. Last year Suzuki registered 20 goals and 18 assists for 38 points in 63 games. This year he already has 22 goals and 30 assists for 52 points in just 40 games, including four goals and three assists against the Storm. Currently eighth in league scoring, the five-foot-11, 183-pound forward enters Wednesday with a four-game point streak.
Right behind Suzuki, is Finish forward Petrus Palmu, who sits 11th in league scoring. The veteran forward recently returned to the Attack lineup after representing Finland at the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships, and he’s picked up right where he left off extending his point streak to eight games. The dynamic forward has a total of 23 goals and 24 assists for 47 points in 34 games and is just two points away from matching his career high’s set last season. In four games against Guelph, this season Palmu has four goals and two assists.
- Wednesday is the first of a home-and-home series with Owen Sound and the fifth game of the Highway Six series. The season series is split at two wins each.
- Garrett McFadden (Kincardine, ON) will be playing close to home Wednesday night.
- Storm rookie Nolan Makkonen is expected to make his OHL debut, he will wear #4.
- The Owen Sound Attack could set a franchise record for longest win streak with a win, they’re tied with their current record of 10-wins set by the 1996-97 Owen Sound Platers, and matched by the 2004-05 Attack.
- Tuesday, February 21: Served by the Storm is back! Just us as the Storm players trade in their sticks for plates as they act as servers throughout the night to meet and greet fans at Bobby O’Brien’s and Opus in downtown Guelph, in support of the Adopt-A-School program. For more information and to purchase your ticket, click here!
The 2016-17 Season is proudly presented by RBC.