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Guelph Storm so close yet . . .

Sports can be cruel. And that was on full display on Sunday in London for the Guelph Storm and their fans.
There was a certain Storm swagger outside Budweiser Gardens ahead of the team’s Memorial Cup championship game against the Edmonton Oil Kings.
Legions of Storm fans were hanging out, decked out in crimson colours. In talking to them, you got the sense that the upcoming game was going to be a fun formality. They were going to win, without a doubt.
(One line heard earlier was that Friday night’s semifinal game between Edmonton and Val-d’Or may as well have been billed the tournament’s silver medal game.)
Fans had reason to be confident. This Storm team set franchise records for regular season wins (52) and points (108). They rolled through the OHL playoffs and then went 3-0 at the Memorial Cup tournament, outscoring their foes 18-7 along the way.
Things started as planned in Sunday’s final. Guelph scored a dandy goal a mere minute into the game and the sense of  “Another day, another win” was palpable.
Two and a half hours later, tears flowed on the Storm bench. But not the tears of joy most expected.
They lost. The Oil Kings were kings.
The dream was dashed.
Crestfallen, Storm players made their way to the centre of the rink – some, barely – for handshakes with their celebrating opponents. Afterwards, through tears, many looked up into the stands as they made one last exit with this history-making team.
No one knows when, but the sting of this loss will likely one day wear off. And the Storm will look back on this season for being the oh-so-special one it was.
“The sun will rise again tomorrow,” said Storm fan Chuck Koch, after the game.
And it did.

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