The Guelph Storm are heading into the first round of the OHL playoffs and it's time for fans to keep showing their support.
After a long and hard-fought season, the Storm are looking to make a deep run into the playoffs and they need the support of their fans to Bring the Thunder to every home game.
Led by Boston Bruins draft pick Matthew Poitras, one of the OHL’s premier playmakers, the Storm have rumbled to a stellar home record, winning more games at home than on the road.
Guelph’s fans have been a major part of that success, regularly filling the Sleeman Centre with crowds over 4,500 a game, says Storm Vice President Matt Newby.
“The Sleeman Centre has a reputation around the league,” Newby says. “Always full, always fun, always loud. We need fans to bring that to the playoffs right away because we've seen all year that it's the difference between wins and losses.".”
In a high stakes game against the London Knights in February, Guelph tied the game on a goalmouth scramble with just a minute left in regulation. Powered by chants of “Go Storm Go” the team won it 1:47 into overtime when a Jake Karabela shot found its way through traffic, netting the Storm a 4-3 victory.
The atmosphere, Newby says, was electric.
“It's the ‘Go Storm Go’ chants at the right time, then exploding when the Storm scores.”
Even Karabela, who scored the game winner, said the atmosphere was intense.
“That's playoff hockey,” Karabela said. “Everything down the line's playoff hockey. You've got to prepare for the playoffs and I think that was a good example of it."
That type of energy is something the Storm is hoping fills the Sleeman Centre every game night as the team marches through the first round.
"Our first home game will be on a Sunday or Tuesday night and we know that means work or school the next day for a lot of fans,” Newby says.
“It's sacrificing one tired morning for a full building because it changes games. But if we reach 4,000 fans at the Sleeman Centre for our first home game, we'll proudly donate $10,000 to local non for profit organizations as a thank you to the fans that wake up a little tired," Newby says.
“Yes, playoffs are sometimes late nights with work or school the next day,” Newby says. “But it’s also the climax to a season-long story that 150,000 fans have helped write.”
“It's reality drama in its purest form,” Newby says. “When games matter the most, and it’s win or go home.”
“Win or you'll never play with this group of teammates again. Win or you'll never get to represent our city and our fans again.”
With the playoffs getting underway at the end of March, the Storm will be an underdog in every series they play and there's no doubt that an energetic Sleeman Centre can help level the playing field.
Here's how it works:
Head to the Sleeman Centre website, select the playoff games you want to attend, and buy your tickets. It's easy, and the best part is that playoff ticket prices are the same as regular season prices.
So don't hesitate - show your support and get your tickets today. When you buy tickets for the playoffs, you're helping the Storm write the story of the season.
Go, Storm, Go!