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Storm's Greatest Games of 2004 - Nominee #5

2004 was another memorable year in Guelph Storm history. Between December 22 - December 28, we will chronicle one of the Storm's greatest individual games of 2004 each...
 

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2004 was another memorable year in Guelph Storm history.  The year started with a pair of Storm players capturing silver medals at the 2004 World Junior Hockey Championship in January, reached a fever pitch when the Storm captured the OHL Championship in May and then saw the torch passed to a new edition of the Storm, with the graduation of nine veterans and the introduction of eleven rookies onto the Guelph roster.

 

Between December 22 - December 28, we will chronicle one of the Storm's greatest individual games of 2004 each day.  On December 29th, the Storm Fan Poll will let fans decide which of these games was the ?Greatest Individual Game' of the year.

April 26, 2004? The series that many forecasted as the ?unofficial' OHL Championship was a reality, when the Storm swept through the Plymouth Whalers and the London Knights easily deposed of the Erie Otters in four straight.  Having split six head-to-head meetings during the regular season and finished head-and-shoulders above any other team in the OHL, Storm and Knights fans were in for a series for the ages.

 

The Storm built a two-game lead in the series when they won Game Four on home ice in front of 4,862 fans.  In Game Five, with the game tied at one, a pivotal call by referee Scott Hutchinson, proved to be a turning point in the series.  In the dying minutes of the third period, the Storm looked like they were going to win the series when the puck bounced off Jakub Koreis' skate and into the Knights net with several players crashing the crease. The referee ruled that the net was dislodged before the puck crossed the line and the goal was disallowed.  In overtime, Dennis Wideman scored the winning goal, giving the Knights a huge win.  The next day, a photograph on the front page of the London Free Press showed that Hutchinson's call was the wrong one.

 

Game six in Guelph was a back-and-forth contest, until London poured in four unanswered third period goals to send the Storm to Game Seven for the second time in three series.

 

With the momentum squarely behind the Knights, the Storm knew that winning Game Seven in London would be a monumental task.  Through six games, the checking line of Trevor Kell, Rick Steadman and Brandon Prust had shut down the Storm's top offensive line of Brett Trudell, Marty St. Pierre and Ryan Callahan.  After scoring eight goals in the Storm's first two series wins, Brett Trudell was almost invisible in the first six games versus the Knights with only 1 goal and a -5 rating.  In Game Seven, Trudell was front-and-centre.

 

After losing two straight contests to force the deciding game, the Storm surrendered the first goal of the game only 3:21 into the first period.  Another unanswered Knights goal, likely would have meant the end for the Storm.  With 1:26 remaining in the period, Trudell scored a huge goal when he banged a loose puck past Ryan MacDonald in the Knights' goal to even the score.  The Knights checking line answered back in the second period, when the St. Pierre line could not contain Brandon Prust who restored London's one-goal lead.  Before the end of the second, a Trudell feed to St. Pierre helped pull the Storm even at two. 

 

In the third period, after Corey Perry ran the Storm's Kevin Klein into the boards from behind, Trudell on the ensuing powerplay picked up his second goal and third point of the game to give the Storm their first lead.  London managed to pull even one more time, but the Storm could smell a series victory for the first time since Game Five.  The Storm rolled with three unanswered markers from Matt Ryan, Ryan Callahan and Marty St. Pierre into an empty London net.  The Storm were one step closer to the OHL Championship with a 6-3 win.

 

Trudell scored 13 goals, including 4 game winners in the 2004 OHL Playoffs to tie for the league lead.  However, after picking up only one goal in six games versus London, it is his three-point effort in the Storm's pivotal ?do-or-die' game on April 26, 2004 against the OHL's regular season champs that registers as our fifth ?Individual Game of the Year' nominee.


To read nominee #1 for 'Individual Game of the Year' - Matt Ryan on February 10, 2004... click here
To read nominee #2 for ' Individual Game of the Year' - Ryan Callahan on March 2, 2004... .click here

To read nominee #3 for 'Individual Game of the Year' - Martin St. Pierre on March 26, 2004... click here

To read nominee #4 for ?Individual Game of the Year' - Kevin Klein on April 7, 2004? click here

To read nominee #6 for ?Individual Game of the Year' - Daniel Paille on May 3, 2004? click here
To read nominee #7 for ?Individual Game of the Year' - Adam Dennis on December 10, 2004? click here  

 

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