An enticing OHL matchup will see the highly-powered Guelph Storm (0-0-1) battle the rejuvenated Saginaw Spirit (0-0-0) in tonight’s CHL TV Game of the Week.
The Storm were the highest ranked OHL team in the Kia Top 10 preseason rankings as they placed fourth and opened their 2022-23 campaign with a point in an overtime loss to Hamilton Friday.
A year ago, Guelph went 36-24-8 but fell in the first round of the OHL Playoffs to Sault Ste. Marie in five games. However, armed with some incredible resources, such as Cam Allen, Michael Buchinger, Jake Karabela, Sasha Pastujov and Matthew Poitras, among others, the Storm are expected to go on a deep playoff run as they chase their fifth J. Ross Robertson Cup.
Saginaw will seek its first opening night victory since 2018-19 where all eyes this year will be on Michael Misa who is just the eighth player ever to be granted exceptional status in the CHL.
The Spirit finished fifth in the West Division with a 24-43-1 record but boast some significant talent that includes 2022 NHL Draft selections Pavel Mintyukov and Matyas Sapovaliv as well Josh Bloom and the newly acquired Theo Hill.
Who to watch
With a plethora of talent on the Storm roster, there’s a number of options. But we’ll focus on Matthew Poitras who was the 54th overall pick by Boston in the 2022 NHL Draft.
Friday, Poitras had one goal and one assist as the Storm erased a three-goal deficit to grab a point against the Bulldogs. A year ago, the 18-year-old was third in Storm scoring with 50 points (21 goals).
For Saginaw, all eyes will be on Misa. The 15-year-old, who broke Connor McDavid’s record for points at the 2022 OHL Cup with 20 (10 goals) in seven games, led his Mississauga Senators to the title and was selected first overall in the 2022 OHL Draft shortly thereafter.
Misa is eligible for the 2025 NHL Draft.
The Spirit have yet to play this season but Guelph saw the aforementioned Poitras, as well as Valentin Zhugin, had a goal and an assist in their season opener.
Jake Karabela, who was selected by Washington 149th overall during the summer, scored shorthanded for Guelph Friday night.
Where to watch
Saturday’s contest can be seen live on CHL TV at 7pm ET / 4pm PT.
Available to fans from coast to coast, CHL TV is accessible on the CHL mobile app, in addition to Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire, and online at watch.chl.ca. Each year, CHL TV offers access to more than 2,000 regular-season games covering the CHL’s three Member Leagues and 60 markets across Canada and the United States. Fans can download the free CHL app via the App Store and Google Play.