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Greyhounds sweep the Guelph Storm out of the playoffs

The Storm falls 5-1 at the Sleeman Centre Wednesday night and are swept in four straight by the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds

A season that started so well ended so suddenly.

The Guelph Storm season came to a definitive end Wednesday night at the Sleeman Centre with a 5-1 victory in front of 4,600 at the Sleeman Centre, giving the Hounds a 4-0 series sweep.

The Storm spent much of the first half of the season in the top half of the conference stangings, struggled through injuries, suspensions and losing streak much of the second half, then ended the regular season winning four of its last five games.

But the playoffs were a different story. More injuries and suspensions certainly didn't help their chances, and the effort was certainly there, but in the end the Soo Greyhounds were just to big, skilled and efficient.

"A lot of turbulence ... a lot of man games missed to injuries, illness, suspension. But a lot of players got an opportunity to play a lot of different roles and I'm real proud of the effort and of the group in general," said Storm coach Chad Wiseman.

"All year long we were resilient and came to work with a good attitude. I couldn't be more proud of the group."

Forward Jake Karabela said he's never been part of a team that faced as much adversity as the Storm did this season.

"We tried to put a good run together at the end of the season to raise our confidence, but that's playoffs right?. Look at Game 1 and Game 3 and they could have gone either way. It could have been 2-1 us or 2-1 them. Unfortunately we couldn't get it done, but I'm really proud of this group. I couldn't ask for more," Karabela said.

"We missed Bonesy (Braeden Bowman), Nemo (Max Namestnikov) and Hissy (Brayden Hislop) ... those are key guys. Not taking anything away from them (the Sault) because they're a great team, but it would have been nice to have those guys for sure."

It was a 1-1 game early in the second period, on goals by the Hounds' Brady Martin and Guelph's Michael Buchinger, but a pair of bad Guelph line changes – one by the forwards and another by the defence – led to Soo goals midway through the period that pretty much sealed the Storm's fate.

There was little gas left in the tank for the third and the Soo shut things down.

"That's a great team over there," Wiseman said of the Greyhounds. "They're well coached, they play with pace, their deep on offence, they've got a defence that can exit. It's a good hockey team."

The Storm loses its three overage players – Chandler Romeo, Brayden Hislop and Braeden Bowman – and defenceman Michael Buchinger to the pro ranks. Jake Karabela could also turn pro. The team will also have to decide which of its seven 19 year olds to bring back as overagers.

Next up for the organization is the OHL Priority Selection draft, the first three rounds of which go on April 12. The remaining rounds go the next day. Guelph will pick ninth.


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Tony Saxon

About the Author: Tony Saxon

Tony Saxon has had a rich and varied 30 year career as a journalist, an award winning correspondent, columnist, reporter, feature writer and photographer.
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