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Memorial Cup Thursday, May 15, 2014


There’s a Storm on the horizon OHL champs. Guelph enters tournament full of confidence after ousting North Bay DAve Langford

You only have to know one statistic to fully understand what a strong team the Guelph Storm put together this season. The Storm’s 340 goals for were the highest total for an Ontario Hockey League team in 15 seasons. And that was playing in arguably the single toughest major junior hockey division, not only in the OHL, but including the full complement of 60 teams competing under the Canadian Hockey League umbrella. Many veteran junior hockey observers consider the 2004-05 London Knights one of the best — if not the best — teams to ever play in this

country. Guelph outscored them. The same London Knights won the past two OHL titles. Again, Guelph exceeded their goals-for totals. Yes, this season the Storm are the real deal. They finished first in the OHL Midwest Division with 52 wins in 68 games. They were two points ahead of the Erie Otters and five ahead of the two-time defending champion Knights. Three teams with more than 100 points in one fiveteam division was precedent setting. Guelph also boasted the fourth best goals-against total. Nothing much changed in the playoffs, with the Storm winning four consecutive series — each in five games — to capture their first OHL title since 2004, their third league championship in franchise history. Knights’ captain Chris Tierney, now in his fourth season in the OHL, was impressed. “They are a good team, obviously,” Tierney said. “They

Steven Trojanovic celebrates with the Robertson Cup after the Guelph Storm defeated the North Bay Battalion to win the Ontario Hockey League championship. Aaron Bell/OHL Images

won a championship and they’ve got a deep lineup of forwards and D and their goalie is playing well. “They find ways to win. I think everyone is looking for-

ward to getting a chance to play them again and kind of redeem ourselves.” Every hockey fan in London has next Wednesday circled on their calendars as the

Knights face the Storm in the third Memorial Cup game for each team. Tierney said he thought the Storm would win the OHL title after eliminating the Knights.

“We thought they were a heavy favourite after the way they played against us and from what we saw from them. We thought they had a real good chance of winning, and we thought whoever came out of the west had a good chance of winning it.” After finishing the regular schedule with five of the league’s top 20 scorers, the Storm continued their offensive rampage in the playoffs. Kerby Rychel, Zack Mitchell, Robby Fabbri, Scott Kosmachuk and Jason Dickinson accumulated 142 combined points in 20 games. Fabbri only played in 16 of Guelph’s 20 games, but posted 13 goals and 15 assists and was named the OHL’s most valuable player in the playoffs. He was only the third 17-year-old to win the Wayne Gretzky 99 Award. The Storm also feature plenty of NHL experience in the coaching ranks, with head coach Scott Walker and assistants Bill Stewart and Todd Harvey playing close to 1,800 games combined.

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