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Game Preview: Storm vs. Spirit, February 9th

The Storm welcome the Saginaw Spirit to the Sleeman Centre tonight for the first time this season. Friday will be the third meeting between these two clubs with the Storm winning the previous two contests in Saginaw.  The first match up was way back in September with Toropchenko leading the way scoring a goal and two assists. Ratcliffe scored both goals in the Storm’s 2-1 victory in Saginaw back in October. After tonight, the final game in the season series is in Guelph on March 9th.

Fans can purchase tickets either in-person at the Sleeman Centre Box Office, by calling (519) 837-9690 or online at ticketmaster.com here.

Saginaw Spirit

After having missed the playoffs last season finishing 9th in the West, the Spirit are currently in the mix with the Storm fighting for home ice advantage and a fourth place finish.  With 56 points from a 25-19-6-0 record this season, they sit tied for fourth with the Storm and London Knights.  The Currently with the worst power play in the league, the Spirit have capitalized just 32 times with 204 opportunities. Their power play is operating at only 15.7%

Defenseman Marcus Crawford is one of three over age players on the Spirit and leads the team in scoring with 46 points. Of his four years played in the OHL, the 2017-18 season is Crawford’s best. In 50 games, he has surpassed his career high 39 points that he recorded last season, and done so in 10 less games played. He leads the team in shots on goal by 38 shots and recently surpassed T.J. Brodie to sit 23rd in all time points scored in a Spirit uniform. Crawford also sits 8th all time in the Spirits all time assists category.

Undrafted to the NHL, the Ajax native has attended three NHL camps all as a free agent. In 2015 he attended Ottawa’s training camp, 2016 he was in New Jersey with the Devils and last season he went to Detroit with teammate Brady Gilmour.

Guelph Storm

Guelph is also playing strong after an off-season last year, surpassing their point total of 49 last year with 54 points in 50 games this season. Currently tied for 4th in the Western Conference, the Storm have won six of their last four games and are currently on a two game win streak.  A win tonight would bump them ahead of the Spirit in the standings and get them closer to solidifying that fourth place position.

After scoring the overtime winner for the Storm in North Bay on Sunday, Cedric Ralph is among the lead leaders in game winning goals with 7.

Players to Watch

This game will feature 10 players who have been drafted into the NHL. Guelph has 6 players that have been drafted to the NHL, 5 of which were taken in the 2017 NHL Draft. Isaac Ratcliffe (Philadelphia Flyers) was a 2nd round pick. Nate Schnaar (Arizona Coyotes) and Dimitri Samorukov (Edmonton Oilers) were 3rd round picks. Liam Hawel (Dallas Stars) and Alexey Toropchenko (St. Louis Blues) went in the 4th round. The sole 2016 draftee was Mark Shoemaker (San Jose Sharks), who was taken in the 6th round. Saginaw has the remain 4 players drafted. Keaton Middleton (Toronto Maple Leafs) and Evan Cormier (New Jersey Devils) were both 4th round draft picks in 2016. Rielly Webb (Detroit Red Wings) was taken in the 6th round of 2017 and forward Brady Gilmour (Detroit Red Wings) was a 7th round pick that year.

Damien Giroux has been starting to pick up his game. He is now on a 3-game point streak, with 2 goals and an assist. He has 35 points this season with 16 goals and 19 assists. Though his point streak got broken, Isaac Ratcliffe has been one of Guelph’s hottest players recently. In his last 9 games, he has 13 points, including a hat-trick against Flint. He has 9 goals and 4 assists in that stretch.

HEAD TO HEAD
2017-18 Regular Season
SAG 0-2-0-0 GUE 2-0-0-0
2016-17 Regular Season
SAG 2-2-0-0 GUE 2-2-0-0
Last Five Years
SAG 7-10-0-1 GUE 11-7-0-0
Last Five Years At Saginaw
SAG 3-7-0-0 GUE 7-3-0-0
Last Five Years At Guelph
SAG 4-3-0-1 GUE 4-4-0-0
Previous Meetings This Season
Guelph 2 @ Saginaw 1 (2017-10-21)
Guelph 6 @ Saginaw 3 (2017-09-30)
TOP SCORERS
Saginaw Guelph
(11-35-46)
(12-44-56)
(23-21-44)
(18-30-48)
(15-28-43)
(29-18-47)
(16-19-35)
(6-32-38)
(15-17-32)
(9-23-32)
LAST 5 GAMES
Saginaw Guelph
3 – 2 W v. Flint (2018-02-03)
4 – 3 W @ Windsor (2018-02-08)
3 – 2 W @ North Bay (2018-02-04)
2 – 3 L @ Flint (2018-01-31)
6 – 5 W v. Windsor (2018-01-27)
3 – 2 W @ London (2018-01-28)
MATCH UP
Saginaw Guelph
Season Record 25-19-6-0 26-21-1-3
Last 10 Games 4-3-3-0 6-4-0-0
Streak 1-0-0-0 2-0-0-0
Last Game 3-2 W vs Flint (2018-02-03) Final 4-3 W @ Windsor (2018-02-08) Final
Home Record 15-10-1-0 15-7-1-1
Away Record 10-9-5-0 11-14-0-2
Goals For 159 170
Goals Against 171 190
Power Plays 32/204 (15.7%) 43/192 (22.4%)
Power Plays – Home 17/109 (15.6%) 16/86 (18.6%)
Power Plays – Away 15/95 (15.8%) 27/106 (25.5%)
Penalty Killing 43/189 (77.2%) 37/180 (79.4%)
Penalty Killing – Home 22/93 (76.3%) 16/90 (82.2%)
Penalty Killing – Away 21/96 (78.1%) 21/90 (76.7%)
Leading Rookie Jenkins (15-17-32) Hillis (18-30-48)
Most Penalty Minutes Hayden Davis Ryan Merkley
Team PIM/GM 8.9/50 9.3/51

Promotions

Friday night is Global Pet Foods Night when the Storm host the Saginaw Spirit at 7:30pm at the Sleeman Centre.

Global Pet Foods will be on hand promoting their ‘show us your heart campagin’ which will run from February 11th – February 24th. During this time, all Global Pet Foods will be accepting donations to support their 12th annual campaign. The money raised will go toward local animal shelters and pet rescues to help care for pets in need that are homeless. In Guelph, all money raised will be going to LOCAL shelters and rescues.

Glocal Pet Foods will also donae $1 for each donation made.

Look for displays and fan engagement tables on the concourse where you can donate or find out more information about the ‘Show us your heart campaign’. A special pre-game puck drop with the help of one of their exceptionally trained dogs will take place, as well as the chuck a puck fundraiser where the winner will win a year’s worth of food for their pet- cat or dog- and a twelve month supply from Global Pet Foods.

Don’t miss out on the fun this Friday night as the Storm host the Saginaw Spirit. Tickets are still available and can be purchased online here or by visiting or calling the Guelph Storm Box Office at 519-837-9690.

Upcoming Games

After a day off on Saturday, the Storm will be back at the Sleeman Centre on Sunday, February 11th to take on their division rival London Knights. The two teams have split the series 2-2 this season.

Fans can purchase tickets either in-person at the Sleeman Centre Box Office, by calling (519) 837-9690 or online at ticketmaster.com here.

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