Though their storybook season had ended just 72 hours prior over 1,000 kilometres away, the Guelph Storm spent Monday afternoon celebrating with their loyal supporters in downtown Guelph after a playoff run for the OHL record books.
The OHL champion Storm overcame the odds three times, winning a record seven elimination games to capture the franchise’s fourth championship before making an impressive sixth Memorial Cup appearance in the club’s 28-year existence.
A group of approximately 450 fans showed up for Monday’s parade and celebration that gathered in Market Square where Guelph mayor Cam Guthrie, Storm captain Isaac Ratcliffe and team owner Rick Gaetz addressed those on hand.
“You’re forever Guelph Storm family members now and you’ll always be welcome back in Guelph,” Gaetz said to the players. “You’ll always be part of the Guelph Storm family, always be welcome in the community and always welcome through our doors.
“This Guelph team will be spoken about in the OHL for decades and will clearly be remembered in Guelph for decades to come,” he added.
The Storm overcame the Kitchener Rangers, London Knights, Saginaw Spirit and Ottawa 67’s to hoist the J. Ross Robertson Cup on home ice. They played to a 2-2 record at the Memorial Cup Presented by Kia in Halifax, Nova Scotia, falling to the eventual champion Rouyn-Noranda Huskies by a score of 6-4 in Friday’s Semi-Final.
A number of signed NHL prospects in Isaac Ratcliffe, Nick Suzuki and Dmitri Samorukov among several others aren’t expected to return to the veteran-laden club next season as the franchise turns the page to open another era of Storm hockey in the Royal City.
For more on Monday’s festivities, visit guelphtoday.com, or watch a replay at facebook.com/1460CJOYNews.
Photos by Tony Saxon/Guelph Today