By MORRIS DALLA COSTA, The London Free Press – You never get everything you want.
So when it comes to playoff hockey you take what you get and make the most of it.
When the dust had settled on the Ontario Hockey League regular season, the London Knights avoided the 4 1/2-hour bus trip to Erie to play the Otters and the three-hour bus ride to Saginaw to play the Spirit.
Instead, they get an 80-minute trip to Guelph to play the Storm in a best-of-seven Western Conference quarterfinal.
“It sure does make a difference,” assistant coach Jacques Beaulieu said. “It’s nice to get back at midnight instead of three in the morning.”
It’s the fifth time in the last seven seasons the Knights and Storm have met in the playoffs. The Knights get a team they’ve handled pretty well, beating the Storm five of six meetings this season. But they trade off the nice travel schedule for the inherent danger Guelph provides. The Storm are one of the hottest teams going into the playoffs, having won nine of 10. While they may not have an overpowering array of talent, they have three players in the top 21 scorers in Michael Latta, Peter Holland and Taylor Beck.
In the playoffs, it’s difficult to win without good goaltending — the Storm are getting that with Brandon Foote. He earned a shutout against Owen Sound to close out the regular season.
The Storm also have one of the best young coaches in the league in Jason Brooks. He has done a terrific job with the talent he has.
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