Friday night hockey in Storm City
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A bad night on Thursday on the ice and around the league for the Storm. At the John Labatt Centre in London, the Storm dropped a 4-1 decision versus the OHL leading London Knights. Down the 401 in Windsor, the outcome was even worse for Guelph as the Windsor Spitfires and Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds decided their game in overtime making it a three point outcome and shaking up the Western Conference playoff picture.
Heading into action on Friday night at the Sleeman Centre, the Storm sits tied for 8th spot in the conference with the Soo Greyhounds, who defeated Windsor 2-1 in extra time on Thursday. Thanks to the overtime loss, the Spitfires move one point in front of Guelph and the Greyhounds in 7th.
The Greyhounds and Storm will both make up their game in hand on Windsor on Friday night as the Spitfires are idle while the ‘Hounds take on the Sting in Sarnia.
The Knights meanwhile clinched their third Midwest Division title in five years with the win over the Storm on Thursday. With a division title sewn up, the Knights still have two other titles to play for. With five games remaining, they lead the Plymouth Whalers by just two points (London has a game in hand). If London can hold off the surging Whalers, winners of seven in a row, they’ll clinch the Western Conference crown and likely the Hamilton Spectator Trophy as the OHL’s top regular season club.
Last night in London, Jared Knight scored his 100th career OHL goal in the win and added his 101st a little later. The Michigan native has 51 points in 47 games this season and is one of five players on the Knights to average better than a point per game. Seth Griffith opened the scoring versus Guelph for his 45th of the season.
For the Storm, Jason Dickinson notched his 11th goal of the year.
Guelph continued to miss several key forwards from their lineup last night in London. Cody McNaughton missed his second straight game, while Ryan Horvat and Tanner Richard are still on the shelf with long term injuries.
In head-to-head action this season, the Knights have taken each of the five meetings including an overtime win and a shootout decision holding the Storm to only five goals including a team-best two by Zack Mitchell.