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Shootout win secures Storm playoff berth

 

Pavel Gogolev, Danny Zhilkin and Matthew Papais scored shootout markers as the Guelph Storm edged the visiting Oshawa Generals 4-3 and secured a spot in the 2020 OHL Playoffs.

The defending champions own a 32-21-3-5 record for sixth place in a highly competitive Western Conference as a season of ups and downs in Guelph nears its conclusion. The Storm have the unique distinction of having gone on both a 10-game winning streak and 10-game losing skid all in the same season.

Perhaps the biggest contributor to Guelph’s success this season has been World Junior gold medalist Nico Daws in goal. The 19-year-old has posted a league-leading 2.48 goals-against average and .924 save percentage with a 23-8-3-3 record through 38 games, surprising many along the way.

Offensively, fourth-year winger Pavel Gogolev leads the Storm with 44 goals and 94 points over 61 games while reliable two-way centreman Cam Hillis follows with 81 points (23-58–81). Also turning heads in Guelph this season, early season pickup Eric Uba has 29 goals and 58 points while returning OHL champions Keegan Stevenson and Cedric Ralph have also been steady as veterans.

On the blue line, sophomore defender Daniil Chayka is showing early signs of being a closely-watched prospect for the 2021 NHL Draft while 6-foot-7 overager Fedor Gordeev continues to be a steady shutdown option for head coach George Burnett.

The Storm have won four OHL Championships since they broke into the League in 1991-92, with the most recent being last spring’s wild ride through three consecutive series comebacks to defeat the Ottawa 67’s for the J. Ross Robertson Cup.

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