EDMONTON, AB - Storms have a tendency to fool you into thinking their damage is done.
It's been the calling card of the Guelph Storm who have almost made a sport of being pushed to the brink of OHL playoff elimination, only to roar back with a vengeance.
After going down 3-0 in their second-round series vs. the London Knights, they responded with a reverse sweep to advance to the next round where they quickly found themselves trailing two games to none against the Saginaw Spirit. Guelph did manage to take Game 3, but Saginaw won Game 4 to take a commanding 3-1 series lead and push the Storm, once again, into must-win mode.
And they responded, with Oilers defensive prospect Dmitri Samorukov leading the charge in their do-or-die Game 5 by recording a hat-trick in the 4-1 victory to stay alive in the series. The rearguard added two more assists in Guelph's 5-1 Game 6 win and suddenly the two clubs were staring down Game 7 to determine the OHL Western Conference Champion.
The Storm capped off another epic series comeback on Monday night with a tight 3-2 Game 7 victory over Saginaw that saw Samorukov notch another assist to bring his 18-game postseason point total to 21 with eight goals and 13 helpers through three rounds thus far.
The 19-year-old Russian d-man and 2017 third-round pick wasn't the only Oilers prospect involved in the series, as speedy Saginaw forward Ryan McLeod unfortunately saw his OHL season come to a close. The 2018 third-round selection concludes his postseason with five goals and seven assists for 12 points in 15 games played.
Samorukov and the Storm will vy for the OHL Championship against the Ottawa 67's starting on Thursday, May 2 where they'll look to punch their ticket to the 2019 Memorial Cup in Halifax, Nova Scotia.