Guelph Storm back on ice with development camp Monday
GUELPH — The Guelph Storm will be back on the ice as a team for the first time in more than 17 months Monday night with the start of their development camp that precedes their main training camp.
With the Ontario Hockey League cutting short its 2019-2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic and then cancelling the entire 2020-2021 season, the Storm was last on the ice March 11, 2020, when they suffered a 7-4 loss to the Kitchener Rangers at the Sleeman Centre.
While the Storm finished third in the Midwest Division and sixth in the Western Conference at 32-23-3-5, they will enter the 2021-2022 season as the defending league champions as they won the J. Ross Robertson Cup in the 2019 playoffs with a 4-2 series victory over the Ottawa 67’s in the championship series. Playoffs were not held in 2020 and 2021.
With the 2020-2021 season cancelled, this season’s rookie class for the league’s teams will be a double cohort with players selected in both the OHL’s 2020 and 2021 drafts looking for their first action in the league.
In 2020, the Storm selected centre Matthew Poitras in the first round, 12th overall, and in the second round they picked defenceman Michael Buchinger 24th overall and centre Jake Karabela of the Guelph Junior Gryphons AAA minor midgets 32nd overall. In the third round they grabbed centre Ryan McGuire 56th overall.
In this year’s draft the Storm selected defenceman Cameron Allen in the first round, third overall, right winger Charlie Paquette in the second round, 31st overall, right winger Chase Coughlan in the third round, 59th overall, and defenceman Jakob MacRae of Ottawa, who played with the Junior Gryphons AAA U16 squad, in the fourth round, 77th overall. They also picked centre Ben Moldenhauer of Guelph, a teammate of MacRae’s on the Junior Gryphons AAA U16s, in the eighth round.
Overall the Storm drafted eight centres, three left wingers, seven right wingers, 10 defencemen and three goalies in the two drafts.
They also picked goaltender Braedyn McIntosh, centre Mark Webb and left winger Henry Turner of Guelph who played with the Junior Gryphons midget AAs in the 2020 U18 draft and defenceman Nate Tivey and left winger Ethan Lewis of Puslinch from the Junior Gryphons U18 squad in the 2021 U18 draft.
The Storm selected Russian left winger Valentin Zhugin in the first round, 55th overall, of the 2021 Canadian Hockey League import draft and German defenceman Leo Hafenrichter in the second round, 69th overall. They passed on picking anyone in the 2020 CHL import draft.
The Storm’s development camp Monday is to feature a pair of practices with Team White hitting the ice at the Sleeman Centre at 6 p.m. and Team Black following at 7 p.m. The teams are to have scrimmages Tuesday at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.
The main camp’s on-ice activities are to start Wednesday with a Team White practice at 6 p.m. and a Team Black practice at 7 p.m. Scrimmages are to be held at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. both Thursday and Friday.
The Storm are to host the Mississauga Steelheads in their first preseason match Saturday, Sept. 4, at 7 p.m. and the training camp is to wrap up with a full team practice Tuesday, Sept. 7, at 2:30 p.m.
Spectators are welcome to attend the development camp and main camp, but must enter through Gate 6 of the Sleeman Centre in the upper level of the Old Quebec Street Mall.
Spectators will also be required to complete a COVID-19 screening form each time they enter the arena and must also wear a mask, stay physically distanced from those outside their household and follow all other safety protocols that are in place.
Season ticket holders will have first chance at getting tickets for the preseason game and they are to be contacted by the Storm Wednesday.
The Storm have five other preseason games on their schedule as they’re to play at Mississauga Sept. 12 at 2 p.m., host the Niagara IceDogs Sept. 24 at 7:30 p.m., play at Niagara Sept. 25 at 7 p.m., play at Mississauga Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. and host Mississauga Oct. 1 at 7:30 p.m. The team stresses that the preseason schedule is tentative and subject to change.
The Storm’s 2021-2022 regular season is slated to begin with a home-and-home series with the Kitchener Rangers. Those two teams are scheduled to play Oct. 8 at Kitchener at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 9 at the Sleeman Centre at 7 p.m.
- Guelph Sports Journal