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Guelph Storm youngsters catch coach's eye as pre-season wraps up

'The list is long,' said Storm coach Chad Wiseman when asked who caught his eye during training camp

It was a lengthy list when Guelph Storm coach Chad Wiseman was asked who had caught his eye at training camp.

"The list is long," said Wiseman Saturday night shortly after the Storm wrapped up the pre-season with a 5-2 win over the Brantford Bulldogs at the Sleeman Centre.

"Our young guys have been great. Our 16 year olds have really impressed: Singh, McFadden, Snelgrove and Beauchese, before he was out with an injury, have all played well and Serlin has been a huge surprise for us," Wiseman said.

Leo Serlin, a 2022 draft pick who played tier II hockey in Haliburton last season, was tied for second most goals in the pre-season with three. Braeden Bowman led the way with four.

Guelph fell behind 2-0 early but scored five unanswered goals – four of them on the power play – to finish up the pre-season with a 4-2 record.

Bowman had a pair of goals Saturday, with singles going to Jett Luchanko (on a beautiful end-to-end rush), Max Namestnikov and Hunter McKenzie.

Brayden Gillespie played the whole game in net.

Regular season starts Friday at home against Owen Sound.

Wiseman was asked about the team's identity heading into the preseason and what he sees as its strengths.

"Lot of speed. Good work ethic and a puck possession team. We're on pucks a lot and we recover pucks well and manage pucks well," Wiseman said.

"A long ways to go but a really good start in the pre-season. We've had a lot of opportunity these past five weeks to really put a stamp on how we want to play. Pbviously we're missing a few guys at NHL camps but hopefully we'll get them back for Friday."

Four Storm players remain at NHL training camp (Matt Poitras, Vilmer Alriksson, Jake Karabela and Michael Buchinger) and Rowan Topp and Quinn Beauchesne missed Saturday's game with injuries.

The strength of the OHL appears to be the Western Conference this year and Wiseman thinks the Storm can be right there with the contenders.

"There's going to be some high-end teams in this conference and historically it's a very competitive conference, but I think we'll be really competitive."


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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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