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It's a sweep: Guelph Storm polishes off the Kitchener Rangers (9 photos)

London Knights are the likely opponent in the next round

At the end of the day the Guelph Storm was just too big, too fast, too experienced and just too good for the Kitchener Rangers.

As healthy as they've been in months and having had a few weeks to let all the new pieces fit together, the Storm is on a roll, finishing off a game but overmatched Kitchener Rangers squad with a 5-1 win at The Aud on Thursday.

Guelph took the opening round playoff series in four straight and will likely meet the London Knights in the next round.

The Knights finished off the Windsor Spitfires in four straight on Thursday.

The only thing that would prevent a Storm/Knights match-up would be if the Owen Sound Attack were to come back and upset the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in their series. That would make Saginaw Guelph's next opponent.

The Soo leads that series 3-1 with Game 5 Friday in Sault Ste. Marie.

"Any time we an win a series in four that's more rest for us. In the playoffs, that's a big thing, is rest" said the Storm's MacKenzie Entwistle after Thursday's win.

"After the trade deadline we had a lot of new guys, a lot of new faces, and a lot of injuries. We're healthy, we're playing hard. Everyone is playing for each other," Entwistle said.

"It feels great. One of our strongest points is our depth and now everyone is healthy we're playing to our advantages."

Nick Suzuki said the dressing room is "a brotherhood" right now.

"This probably could be one of the strongest teams I've ever played on. Just the depth that we have and the experience," Suzuki said. 

Kitchener came out strong Thursday, likely the better team in the first period, but even some strong play didn't result in many scoring chances and it just seemed like a matter of time before the Storm got on track.

Guelph led 1-0 after one period and 2-1 after two before pulling away in the third. The final goal was into an empty net.

Alexey Toropchenko had two of the Guelph goals, giving him a team-best five in the series. Suzuki, Entwistle and Pavel Gogolev had the others.

"Overall in the series our discipline was pretty sound and it had to be, to make sure their power play wasn't a factor," coach George Burnett said.

"Our strength up front and our veteran presence, with the cycle game, took over through the second and third period," Burnett said.

Guelph played without Cam Hillis (collar bone) and Keegan Stevenson (illness) last night.


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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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