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Game Preview: Storm vs. Knights

Aaron Bell/OHL images
 Guelph Storm (6-6-0-1) vs. London Knights (4-8-1-0)
Date | Time Sunday, Oct. 29 | 4:00 p.m.
Location Guelph, ON. | The Sleeman Centre (Directions)
Tickets Ticketmaster.com | (519) 837-9690
Promotions Spyke’s Halloween Bash sponsored by Spyke’s Sport Shop
TV – 510 HD Live (Guelph)
– OHL Action Pak: Cogeco TV 480 Live (Ontario)
Video Stream OHL Live
Radio 1460 CJOY (Guelph) | Pregame Show: 6:30p
Next Home Game Friday, Nov. 10th  vs. North Bay (Tickets)
Social Media @Storm_City   | Facebook  | Instagram

Guelph, ON. – The London Knights will be visiting the Guelph Storm at the Sleeman Centre this Sunday, October 29th at 4:00 p.m. Guelph Storm will be looking to get off to a good start against the Knights after being swept 6-0 on the season series last year.

London Knights 

Beginning the season, the London Knights were littered with fresh faces, dressing a lineup that consisted of 7 rookies. The new-look Knights got off to a rocky start with only 1 win in their first 10 contests. However, things have begun to look up after the receiving recent 2nd round draft pick Alex Formenton from the Ottawa Senators. Formenton cracked the Senator’s opening night roster out of training camp, although was sent down after playing a single game. Since Formenton has joined the team, they have yet to lose a game, winning their last 3 leading into Saturday’s game.

The Knights lost an important piece of their team this year with the departure of Victor Mete. The 2016 4th round pick of the Montreal Canadiens had an impressive try-out with the team has solidified a spot on the Canadiens’ roster. Mete was an integral part of the Knights blue line last season, registering 44 points in 50 games with the club. Having just played his 10th game for the Canadiens, he has burned the first year of his entry-level contract so it is unlikely that he’ll be returning to the Ontario Hockey League for a little while.

Another player who the Knights were hoping could suit up for them this season is forward Jesper Bratt. Bratt was taken by the Knights in last June’s import draft. Bratt impressed the New Jersey Devils enough out of camp to earn a roster spot where he has been a productive member of the team. Although it was unlikely that Bratt would leave professional hockey for a year in the OHL, he would have been a very beneficial addition to the Knights roster.

Guelph Storm 

Guelph’s lack of offensive production in the last few games has appeared to come to an end with the team potting 4 goals in each of their last two games. With the second half of a home and home with the Erie Otters tonight, look for the Storm to continue to build on this offensive production.

The Storm will be without forward Zach Poirier who was handed a 10-game suspension for a hit to the head of Sault Ste. Marie’s Barret Hayton. This will be a tough loss for the Storm as Porieir is an important part of the team’s forward core. The Storm have recalled Andrew Somerville from the Fort Erie Meteors of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League to fill in Poirier’s absence. Somerville has 12 points in 6 games with the Meteors this season.

Team Comparison:

  Guelph Storm Erie Otters
OVERAL RECORD (6-6-0-1) (4-8-1-0)
HOME RECORD (4-2-0-1) (1-4-1-0)
AWAY RECORD (2-4-0-0) (3-4-0-0)
PP 11/59 (18.8%) 10/62 (16.1%)
PK 42/48 (87.5%) 42/53 (79.3%)
PIMS 123 145
Streak W1 W3
GF 35 36
GA 47 45
DIFF -12 -9

**Stats updated as of 10/27/17

Players to Watch:

Sunday’s game will feature ample amount of NHL talent as a total of 12 players between the two rosters have been drafted into NHL, consisting of Guelph’s Liam Hawel (Dallas Stars), Nate Schnarr (Arizona Coyotes), Alexey Toropchenko (St. Louis Blues), Mark Shoemaker (San Jose Sharks), Isaac Ratcliffe (Philadelphia Flyers), Givani Smith (Detroit Red Wings) and Dmitri Samorukov (Edmonton Oilers) in addition to London’s Robert Thomas (St. Louis Blues), Max Jones (Anaheim Ducks), Cliff Pu (Buffalo Sabres), Alex Formenton (Ottawa Senators) and Jacob Golden (Minnesota Wild). London’s Sam Miletic has also signed an entry-level deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins after impressing at main camp this September.

Look for continued solid play from Storm goaltender Anthony Popovich who has been a bright spot of the Storm’s season thus far. The second-year goaltender was named the Storm’s player of the week last week after posting a 2.69 goals against average and a 0.935 save percentage in three starts last week. He followed up this impressive week with a stellar performance against the Erie Otters on Friday night earning first-star honors after turning aside 33 shots and all three shootout attempts in a 4-3 shootout win.

Robert Thomas enters London’s game on Saturday riding a 4-game point streak, posting 12 points over that span. Thomas had an incredible night against the Flint Firebirds on Friday, potting 4 goals and 2 assists in a 7-1 win.

Sunday’s game will feature an important matchup of NHL draft prospects. There is a total of 8 players on the projected lineup who have been named to the NHL Central Scouting’s 2017-18 Players to Watch List. Defensemen Ryan Merkley and Evan Bouchard will meet for the first time this season after they both received an “A” rating which indicates a 1st Round Candidate for the upcoming NHL draft. Other prospects in the game are Guelph’s Owen Lalonde and Cameron Hillis as well as London’s Liam Foudy, Jordan Kooy, William Moskal and Alec Regula.

Promotions 

Spyke’s Halloween Bash sponsored by Spyke’s Sport Shop.

Little Storm fans are encouraged to dress up in their Halloween costumes and take part in Spyke’s parade during the 2nd intermission. Candy will also be set up around the concourse for those participating to trick or treat.

Upcoming Home Game:

The Guelph Storm will face-off against the North Bay Battalion November 10th at the Sleeman Centre. Puck-drop is set for 7:30 p.m.

Fans can purchase tickets either in-person at the Sleeman Centre Box Office, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., by calling (519) 837-9690 or online at ticketmaster.com here.

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