Opening your season with a morning start time is never easy and playing on a neutral ice often proves tougher yet. That is the situation that the Guelph Hurricanes and Thorold Blackhawks found themselves in on Saturday morning at the GOJHL Showcase in Brantford.
All 27 teams began their season at the annual event with play beginning on Friday night at the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre. After a 3-0 preseason the Hurricanes arrived with high expectations as they begin their quest for a Sutherland Cup.
It took nearly 34 minutes for a goal, but Guelph managed a 1-0 advantage when Tyler Harrison scored at 6:02 of the second period. 15-year old Connor LePage, who made his Junior hockey debut, assisted on the goal as did goaltender Jet Greaves. Shot totals after two periods were 26-16 in favor of the Hurricanes.
Goal Hurricanes! Tyler Harrison scores the first goal of the season to make it 1-0 Guelph! Assists to LePage and Greaves! #GOJHLshowcase
— Guelph Hurricanes (@GuelphCanes) September 9, 2017
Guelph continued to control play in the third and took a 2-0 lead at 11:51 when veteran Cameron Stokes found the back of the net. Former Waterloo Siskins forward Ryan Sparkes and ex-Cambridge WinterHawks winger Mathieu Mercier assisted on the goal.
Graves earned a shutout in his first start of the season making 22 saves. Anthony Tremonte stopped 43 of 45 Hurricanes shots in a losing effort
Guelph will next face the St. Mary’s Lincolns on Sunday. Game time is scheduled for 10:30 AM.