The Guelph Storm are the number 2 team in the Country. That's according to the ever popular CHL rankings. The last 2 Players of the Week have came from the Guelph team, Scott Kosmachuk and Brock McGinn. The Storm are surging as they continued their winning ways on Wednesday night against the Pete's. Tonight Guelph will look to win their 9th straight game of the season and they'll try and do it against the rival Kitchener Rangers. The Storm already hold a 6-3 victory over their division opponents. If all goes well tonight, Guelph will then try for 10 against the mighty Wolves of Sudbury.
The Guelph Storm are currently firing on all cylinders. Their recent successes can be chalked up to a number of things, especially the play of Carolina Hurricanes prospect Brock McGinn. Despite winning the Player of the Week last week I feel we never hear enough about McGinn. You hear mostly about Jets prospect Scott Kosmachuk, Maple Leafs pick and Storm captain Matt Finn. Rightly so too, both are off to a great start but the forgotten man is often McGinn (Not last week though). McGinn has at least a point in every game so far this season and currently holds the OHL's longest Goal and point streaks. The season nearly didn't start the way he would've wanted though because of an incident in a game against the London Knight's. Knight's forward Max Domi targeted his head with an elbow, luckily McGinn never missed any games and Domi was suspended for the hit. The Canes 2nd round pick has really found his game and is starting to look like a steal for the Canes. McGinn has amassed 28 points in 16 games all the while not shying away from the rough stuff and post whistle activities that Guelph fans are accustomed to seeing him in.
Kitchener makes their first trip to the Sleeman Centre tonight and are currently riding a 4 game losing streak that has them in the basement of the Midwest Division. The Rangers haven't played since last Friday (A loss to Windsor) it'll be interesting to see how their game legs are. The Rangers power play has been lackluster so far this year, they've only scored 8 power play goals this year. Compare that to Guelph's 18 (Tyler Bertuzzi and Scott Kosmachuk each have 4 PPG's). Kitchener is 1-3 so far on the road this year and 0-3 against Western Conference teams away from the Aud. It's hard to believe but the Rangers are the OHL's lowest scoring team too with only 32 goals. To be fair they've played the least amount of games in the OHL as well. Guelph is on the opposite end of the spectrum leading the way with 86 goals. All signs point to Guelph extending their winning streak to 9 games but they play the game for a reason. Hopefully Guelph doesn't look ahead to Sunday's game or Kitchener could steal one.
Speaking of Sunday, the Storm will host the Sudbury Wolves. The Wolves will play London tonight and Sarnia on Saturday, before coming into Guelph on Sunday afternoon. Sudbury currently sits in the middle of the pack in the Eastern Conference. 7 of the Wolves 9 losses have been by only one goal, they've also given up 10 goals in a game twice already this year (Sault/Kingston). This game has the potential to be a perfect storm for Guelph. Sudbury plays 3 in 3, Guelph is off Saturday and will be rested. As stated above Guelph scores a lot. If Sudbury takes a few shifts off, the game could be out of reach in heartbeat. Not only does Guelph score a lot but they score often and in quick bursts. Last Friday against Stan Butler's defensive Battalion team they scored 6 goals in the second period and 3 of the goals came in 5 and half minutes. Guelph will have to keep Matt Campagna, Nick Baptiste, and Nathan Pancel in check however, all 3 have gotten off to a solid start offensively and carry the Wolves offense. If the Storm can keep those 3 quiet they should come out with 2 points.
Matt Mancina got the Start in Peterborough on Wednesday and only allowed 1 goal on 27 shots. I am just thinking out loud here but I wonder if coach Walker throws him in Sunday against the Wolves? I doubt it but maybe he does reward his rookie tender with a 2nd start this week. I feel safe in saying that we will see Justin Nichols in net tonight. Nichols has been very solid in the majority of his starts so far this season. In the few games I've seen him play live this year he has been great, he is making big saves when the game is still close and even when Guelph is hammering opponents. Nichols was brought in from the Sault just before the start of the season to help solidify the goaltending. Before the season started the Storm had almost no OHL experience between the pipes, they had Mancina and last years backup Jason DaSilva who was dealt to Belleville the same day Nichols was acquired.
After last Friday's game I interviewed Justin Nichols, if you click the following link it'll take you right to where you can listen to it. http://www.intheoradio.com/weekendinterview/
If you'd like to hear from a certain player (doesn't have to be a member of the Storm) I will get it for you. Send your requests to me @ChrisMcDonald91 on Twitter.
As always thank you for reading.