Skip to content

Guelph Storm in playoff mode as Poitras nears club assist record

With one regular season game remaining, Matt Poitras is four assists shy of tying Jeff O'Neill's record of assists in a single season

The Guelph Storm's Matt Poitras admits he never saw former Storm star and NHLer Jeff O'Neill play a game.

He wasn't born when O'Neill played junior and he was only three when O'Neill's NHL playing days wrapped up.

"No. Never saw him play. Too young," said Poitras.

But the two are part of the same conversation as the Storm's regular season winds down, as Poitras has one game left to tie O'Neill's club record of 81 assists in a single season, which O'Neill did twice.

Three helpers in a 3-0 win over the Erie Otters Friday night at a sold-out Sleeman Centre gives Poitras 77 assists this season.

Guelph will wrap up its regular season Saturday night in Saginaw.

"No, I don't think about it at all," Poitras said of chasing the record. "I'm just fortunate that the guys I'm playing with have been putting the puck in the net. We're just trying to go into the playoffs on a high note.

"It's about playing the right way going into the playoffs. We want to do better than last year and just one round. That's not good enough."

Poitras said he crossed paths with O'Neill just once, a year ago at the Top Prospects game.

He said he hasn't been passing up any shots trying to pick up more assists.

"I've actually been trying to shoot the puck a bit more this year, but I'm still getting the assists," said the Boston Bruins property, who has 16 goals.

With just four points separating fifth place from eighth in the Western Conference entering play Friday night, there are several possible first round opponents for the Storm.

It could be Sunday before matchups are finalized.

"He doesn't say miuch, but he's a competitor and I'm sure as an athlete it's in the back of his mind," Storm coach Chad Wiseman said.

"But he didn't cheat the game tonight, he played the right way and showed great leadership. He's been our best player the past four or five weeks."

Guelph dominated most of Friday's game against the last-place Otters, leading 2-0 after one period and 3-0 after two.

Brayden Gillespie made 14 saves for his first OHL shutout and Braeden Bowman, Max Namestnikov and Zack Sandhu scored the goals.

Reader Feedback

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.
Read more