With the OHL season winding down and playoff races beginning to heat up, the Guelph Storm find themselves in a position to grab the final coveted home ice playoff spot. Currently the Storm sit in 5th place in the West 5 points behind divisional rivals the Owen Sound Attack and the Kitchener Rangers, both have 72 points and sit 3rd and 4th in the conference respectively. The Storm have 13 games left after tonight to try and grab that 4th spot in the Western conference. Guelph has 3 games left against the Rangers and no more against the Attack. They also have 2 very crucial games against the Sault Ste Marie GreyHounds who sit 3 points behind the Storm.
Guelph will travel to Plymouth today to take on the the West Division leading Whalers. The Storm will have to keep an eye on Vincent Trocheck. Trocheck who is a prospect of the NHL's Florida Panthers and was acquired from Saginaw at the OHL trade deadline. He has been everything as advertised since coming over to the Whalers. Trocheck is averaging nearly 2 and half points per game since joining a Plymouth team that already boasts names like Rakell, Heard, Wilson, and Hartman to name a few. Plymouth has seen the benefits of a good all around team effort lately as they have climbed up the standings to 2nd place in the conference and they lead the West division.
So far Guelph are 1-2 against the Whalers this season. Two of the 3 meetings have been 1 goal games, with each team claiming a victory. On January 2nd however Plymouth dominated the Storm in Guelph with a 6-2 victory.
The Storm will need some offense from their leading scorers, Scott Kosmachuk, Tanner Richard, and Zack Mitchell. Garret Sparks a Toronto Maple Leafs prospect already has reached a new career high in wins with 28.
If Guelph hope to keep pace with teams above them in the standings they will need to steal 2 points from a very good Plymouth team. The GreyHounds are facing a struggling Kingston Frontenacs club that is barely holding onto the final playoff spot in the East. If the Hounds win and the Storm lose, the Hounds will be within 1 point of Guelph. Guelph does have a game in hand on the Soo though.
Guelph comes home victorious with a final score of 4-3. Look for Kos to chip in offensively as well as Jason Dickinson.