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Ratcliffe joins the Guelph Storm 50 goal club (9 photos)

Becomes the fourth Guelph Storm player ever to hit the 50-goal mark

Isaac Ratcliffe was getting a little worried.

After a torrid scoring streak put the big Guelph Storm winger at 48 goals with six games left in the regular season, hitting the elusive 50-goal mark seemed like a certainty. But then he went scoreless for three games.

But Friday at the Sleeman Centre Ratcliffe potted a pair of goals in a 5-2 win over the Erie Otters, making him just the fourth Storm player in team history to score 50 in a season.

"It's really exciting. I knew I had to get it done tonight," the Philadelphia Flyers prospect said.

"Today I was watching all my clips from last year and this year, seeing how I was putting the puck in the net, the places I was going.

"To get it out of the way in front of the home fans is really exciting."

He joins Todd Bertuzzi (54), Ryan Callahan (52) and Mike Prokopec (52).

Number 50 came at 10:05 of the second period, a wrister from the slot that beat Erie goaltender Cole Ceci with Guelph on the power play.

"I came in as a 16 year old scoring five goals and I'm leaving as a 20 year old scoring 50 in front of these fans.

"They've been so loyal to us over these past four years, where we've struggled a lot, and we're starting to bring it around now, so hopefully we get a big run for the fans in the stands here."

He definitely didn't want to go into the last game of the season Saturday night in Erie needing to score to hit the milestone.

"Exactly. I'd be biting my lip a little bit and would have been gripping the stick a little too tight," Ratcliffe said.

He expects to play Saturday in Erie, as the team set a team goal of 90 points this season and is two points shy of that.

Friday's game didn't mean much for the Storm, a team cemented in fourth place in the Western Conference standings.

But it did for Erie, who needed to win to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Ratcliffe's 50th broke a 2-2 tie and then MacKenzie Entwistle's second of the game early in the third period sealed the deal. Nick Suzuki put one into the empty net with time running out.

Their opening round playoff series against the Kitchener Rangers starts Friday in Guelph.


Tony Saxon

About the Author: Tony Saxon

Tony Saxon has had a rich and varied 20 year career as a journalist, an award winning correspondent, columnist, reporter, feature writer and photographer.
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