Steve Grant knows this is an audition.
With half the Guelph Storm team graduating after this year, the junior B call-up wants to state his case for a spot on next year's squad while at the same time helping this year's edition win some games.
Grant, 17, recorded the first two points of his OHL career Friday as Guelph cruised to a 6-1 win over the Owen Sound Attack at the Sleeman Centre.
"It wasn't easy, but the boys buried it," said Grant of his first points in seven OHL games.
"George always says, 'just come in and work your hardest,'" Grant said, referring to Storm coach/GM George Burnett.
"That's what I'm trying to do here. Just trying to get noticed and work my hardest."
The Cambridge native was a 10th round pick in 2017.
This season he has been playing for the junior B Listowel Cyclones, where he has nine goals and 19 points in 34 games.
Grant said he realizes there are plenty of openings on the team next season and he has his eye on one of them.
"I just want to make a mark on this team and be ready whenever George asks me," Grant said, adding that the more games he plays the more comfortable he feels.
Burnett said it was nice to see a good kid rewarded for his hard work.
"He played well. He played with some energy and he gave us some good shifts," said Burnett, whose team was missing a number of regulars due to injury and illness.
"He's excited about the potential opportunity (next year) and he knows there's a lot of work ahead. But any time you get a chance to be in the environment and be in the atmosphere it should provide a bit of motivation.
"He's a great kid, so it's nice to see him be rewarded.:
The Storm beat Owen Sound netminder Andrew MacLean with two of the first three shots they sent his way, forcing the Attack to change netminders just 2:54 into the game.
Then it was pretty much cruise control as the Storm led 2-0 after one period and 5-0 after two.
Anthony Popovich's shutout bid ended when he was beaten by a Nathan Perrott wrist shot with 1:01 left in regulation.
Dom Commisso (flu) and Alexey Toropchenko (upper body) joined Cam Hillis, Jack Hanley and Pavel Gogolev on the sidelines Friday night.
Hillis took warm-up and should be ready to go in about another week, said Burnett. Hanley is also ahead of schedule and could be back in early March.
The Storm plays in Erie Saturday night. Wednesday they host the sizzling hot Saginaw Spirit in a 7 p.m. start.