On Saturday September 16th, the Guelph Storm wrapped up their final pre-season game against the Peterborough Petes with a 5-3 win.
Popovich making the start for the Storm in their last pre-season bout before the OHL season officially starts next Friday September 22nd against the Sarnia Sting, while the Petes decided to go with Hunter Jones who spent the 2016/2017 season with the Stouffville Spirit (OJHL).
Both the Storm and Petes would go on the early power play, with Isaac Ratcliffe (pictured) heading to box for hooking after just barely a minute into the first period and the Petes shortly after for tripping. With both Power Play units working hard, it would be the Storm who capitalized with a goal from Liam Hawel, getting the assists would be Ryan Merkley and Garrett McFadden. As the period started, it would also end seeing two more penalties for both teams, with the Petes going down with a check to the head and Merkley for the Storm a few minutes later for roughing. The frame would end with Guelph out shooting Peterborough 15-7.
Second period opened like the first, both teams killing early penalties with Merkley still sitting from his penalty in the first and the Petes Babintsev sitting two for interference. Throughout the second each team would go back and forth, both in shots and in penalties, but 5 minutes into the second they would start trading goals. The Petes would score first to make it 1-1 and the Storm would answer 20 seconds later off a goal by Barret Kirwin to take back the lead.
Despite having the lead, the Storm wanted more and lightning struck again with a goal from defenceman Merkley who instead of sitting in his usual blue line position, was able to sneak into a spot in front of the net to receive a nice pass from Cedric Ralph. Both teams would trade penalties once again going 4 on 4, but this time it would be the Petes who found the back of the net to make it 3-2. Looking for one last big play in the second period, the Storm was able to put another one in the back of the net making it 4-2 to end the second from Matt Hotchkiss.
In a game that saw a lot of penalties, the 3rd also saw its fair share, with Guelph starting the period with one and Merkley getting another almost two minutes in.
Only 5:40 in the 3rd, it would be the Petes Nick Robertson who would ring the goal horn with an even strength goal to cut the lead down to 4-3. The Ratcliffe, Merkley and McFadden connection would gice the Storm back their two goal lead coming together once again to make it 5-3 at the half way mark of the 3rd.
With each team earning themselves a few more penalties, the Storm hung onto their 5-3 lead to win their final pre-season game. The Storm outshot the Petes 47-31.
Next Friday the Storm host the Sarnia Sting for the 2017-18 Home Opener. Tickets are available and can be purchased online or by visiting or calling the Guelph Storm Box Office at 519-837-9690.