Hot Storm face Rangers Tuesday night

Mike Kelly is trying to keep the playoffs in perspective.

“We’ve never allowed that to be the be-all and end-all this year,” said the Guelph Storm general manager, whose squad is one of the youngest in the Ontario Hockey League.

“This is a development year for this hockey club. Certainly making the playoffs would be a huge bonus.”

Guelph rolls into Kitchener Tuesday night on a hot streak for a date with the Rangers. The Storm have won three and lost one shootout in the past four games. The club is in a three-team dogfight for the final two post-season berths in the OHL’s western conference. Guelph is tied for seventh with the Windsor Spitfires, two points ahead of ninth-place Sault Ste. Marie. The Storm has a game in hand on the Greyhounds and two on the Spits.

“As a GM, I’m saying these last games of the regular season might be our playoff experience if we happen to fail to make it,’ said Kelly, whose Storm are 27-28-2-4. “The kids don’t want to hear that. They want that first-hand playoff experience and rightfully so.”

Guelph’s recent streak began with a 6-3 pummeling of the Rangers late last month. It was the first time in seven games this season that the Storm had defeated their chief rival.

“For our fans, when we lose to Kitchener, it hurts twice as much,” said Kelly. “I’m sure that’s the case in Kitchener as well.”

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