The Storm looked to take their momentum from Friday night’s victory into London and move 2 points closer to the Knights in the Western Conference playoff picture.
The Knights struck first with a goal from Dane Fox who deflected a Vladislov Namestnikov shot past Garret Sparks. The goal came a few minutes after the Storm failed to convert on a 5-on-3 advantage that lasted nearly a minute and a half.
London hit the score sheet again just 29 seconds into the second frame on a Scott Harrington blast from the point to go up 2-0. With the likes of Taylor Beck, Richard Panik, and Tyler Carroll out of the line up, the Storm looked sluggish in the middle frame despite outshooting the Knights 24-16 to take a 34-26 advantage after two periods.
Guelph looked to be a different team in the third, using their fore check to create opportunities. Defenseman Chris Van Laren forced a turnover in the neutral zone and Michael Latta picked up the puck before feeding Daniel Erlich. Erlich, making his return to the John Labbatt Centre after being traded at the deadline, buried a bad angle shot past Michael Houser to pull the Storm to within one.
Just over two minutes later, the fore checking of Brock McGinn and Cody McNaughton caused another turnover in the offensive zone and McGinn buried one over an outstretched Houser off a McNaughton rebound to tie the game.
The Storm took the lead for good at the 14:11 mark when McNaughton walked out from the corner and slid the puck past Houser. London pulled their goaltender with a minute and a half remaining but the Storm held on for the important victory, pulling them to within 2 points of the Knights for 6th place.
Cody McNaughton earned first star of the game honours for his 2 point performance including the game winning goal, and goaltender Garret Sparks received third star of the game after stopping 35 of 37 shots for the victory.
Guelph now has the week off before hosting Peterborough at the Sleeman Centre on February 18th at 7:30pm. Following that, the Storm visit Erie for an important matchup on February 19th before returning home for a 2:00pm matinee affair against Sault Ste. Marie on Family Day.
Guelph Storm 3 at London Knights 2 – Status: Final
Sunday, February 13, 2011 – John Labatt Centre
Guelph 0 0 3 – 3
London 1 1 0 – 2
1st Period-1, London, Fox 9 (Namestnikov, Rupert), 15:25. Penalties-Gaskin Gue (hooking), 5:49; Sanza Ldn (delay of game), 10:38; Harrington Ldn (boarding), 11:12.
2nd Period-2, London, Harrington 6 (Martin), 0:29. Penalties-Guimond Ldn (holding), 1:42; Latta Gue (holding opp. stick), 5:08; McGinn Gue (interference), 9:37; Knight Ldn (high sticking), 14:28; Kosmachuk Gue (tripping), 15:41; Sanza Ldn (roughing), 15:41; Pedan Gue (roughing), 18:49; Pereira Gue (holding), 18:49; Martin Ldn (roughing), 18:49.
3rd Period-3, Guelph, Erlich 14 (Latta), 4:42. 4, Guelph, McGinn 5 (McNaughton), 6:59. 5, Guelph, McNaughton 11 (Sonnenburg, Pedan), 14:11. Penalties-Griffith Ldn (tripping), 1:29; Holland Gue (slashing), 11:54; Tinordi Ldn (slashing), 11:54.
Shots on Goal-Guelph 10-24-16-50. London 10-16-11-37.
Power Play Opportunities-Guelph 0 / 5; London 0 / 4.
Goalies-Guelph, Sparks 5-4-0-0 (37 shots-35 saves). London, Houser 24-14-4-1 (50 shots-47 saves).
Referees-Scott Hoberg (13), Scott Oakman (23).
Linesmen-Kevin Hastings (61), Matthew Traub (50).