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Getting down to decision time for the Guelph Storm

Team currently has 17 forwards left in camp fighting for what is probably 13 roster spots
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George Burnett has some decisions to make.

The Guelph Storm general manager/coach currently has 28 players remaining in training camp and he says ideally he'd like to carry 22 players: 13 forwards, seven defencemen and two goaltenders.

The team currently has four goalies in camp. Tanner Wickware is destined for junior B and the team will likely start the season with three goalies as it works on trading one of them.

The defence appears set, as there are only seven defencemen left in camp.

Up front is where most of the decisions need to be made, with 17 forwards currently in camp.

Decisions will come soon on third rounder Marko Sikic and fifth rounder Braeden Bowman, signed by the team on Saturday, said Burnett.

"We'll make a decision real soon on Sikic and Bowman," Burnett said.

If those two were to play elsewhere, it still leaves a group fighting for one of those 13 forward spots.

And while Burnett says he has no problem rotating young players, getting them in the lineup three out of every four games, it's not fair to have young players going longer stretches without playing games.

"Over the years I've learned that kids have to play or they get passed by the kids that do play, even if it's in junior B or tier II," Burnett said.

"I look at (Luka) Profaca and (Ben) McFarlane. Last year they played big minutes with their junior teams and there was so much advantage for them to be doing that. The question is how many kids do you keep, because you want to be fair to them."

Guelph dropped to 0-2 on the pre-season with a 7-5 loss to the Flint Firebirds Saturday night at the Sleeman Centre.

Cedric Ralph, Andrei Bakanov, Pavel Gogolev, Eric Uba and Cam Hillis had the Guelph goals.

"I liked a lot of things tonight. I can't knock our effort," said Burnett. "The young guys are constantly learning and tonight there were a few long shifts out there that led to tired mistakes and we paid the price.

"But it's a starting point, and that's all this weekend is. We added an extra game this weekend to give 15 or 16 young guys a chance to play their first games."

Guelph will host the Mississauga Steelheads at 2 p.m. Monday.



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