Sunday afternoon at the Sleeman Centre, the London Knights came to town for the first time this season. With a few key regulars out of the line up, the Storm trailed for much of the first two periods only to pull even late in the second and eventually take a 4-3 in a marathon shootout that saw 18 shooters and only three goals.
With three straight penalties to the Storm including five-on-three advantages on two occasions, the Knights would own most of the first period registering the game’s first ten shots on goal but failed to solve Matt Hoyle in the Guelph goal. London would finally strike at even strength after Garett Hunter fought off a Storm defender behind the goal and slid a pass to Michael MacDonald who was all alone at the side of the net. Still without a shot at that point, the Storm would get their first powerplay of the game just under two minutes later at 13:38. Adam Comrie with a long point shot put the hosts on the board from Matt Kennedy and Taylor Beck. Shots on goal in the first were 12-5 in favour of the Knights.
The second period looked a lot like the first with London outchancing Guelph early and grabbing a lead. After Phil McRae scored at 4:25 with a quick shot from the side boards that may have hit someone on the way in, Nazem Kadri deflected a point shot past Hoyle. With a 3-1 lead, the Knights looked to be in control again until Matt Kennedy scored on the powerplay with 3:55 remaining in the second. Kennedy’s pass attempt to Taylor Beck across the goal mouth hit a London stick and jumped over Hauser. Then Beck lifted the Storm faithful to their feet when he took a Mat Sisca pass and swooped across the net sliding in his team-leading 11th. The Knights dominated shots on goal again in the second firing 12 on Hoyle while Guelph managed 6.
In the third period and overtime, with only one powerplay opportunity combined, the two clubs struggled to register quailty scoring chances with the goalies standing tall when tested. The Knights had a few chances in overtime but the score would remain 3-3 after 65 minutes.
The shootout proved to be a goaltending duel, with the two clubs sending nine shooters apiece but managing only three goals. After the first two players failed to find the back of the net for both clubs, Connor Tresham beat Houser stick side to give Guelph the lead. Jared Knight used a similar move to turn Hoyle inside out and score stick side to send the shootout into sudden death. Five more shooters would try and fail from each team before Adam Comrie stepped to the top of the circle and fired a low hard shot past Houser. Former Storm winger Leigh Salters would have a chance for some payback as the next London shooter, but Hoyle shut the door to preserve the 4-3 win.
Final shots on goal in the game were 37-18 for London.
With 34 saves plus eight more in the shootout, Matt Hoyle picked up first star honours. Zac Rinaldo, who was a force all game for the Knights was second star despite being held off the scoresheet while Taylor Beck with one goal and two assists was third star.
Following Sunday’s game, the Storm will get a five day break before their next game action when the Ottawa 67’s make their only visit of the season to the Sleeman Centre on Friday night.
London Knights 3 At Guelph Storm 4 (SO) – Status: End of Game SO
Nov 1, 2009 – Sleeman Centre
London 1 2 0 0 – 3
Guelph 1 2 0 0 – 4
1st Period-1, London, MacDonald 3 (Hunter, DeSando), 11:39. 2, Guelph, Comrie 6 (Beck, Kennedy), 13:59 (pp). Penalties-O’Donnell Gue (hooking), 6:23; Chiarot Gue (delay of game), 8:00; Carroll Gue (tripping), 9:23; Rinaldo Ldn (tripping), 13:38.
2nd Period-3, London, McRae 5 (D’Orazio, Tarasuk), 4:25. 4, London, Kadri 8 (Ekelund, Varone), 12:29. 5, Guelph, Kennedy 8 (Syvret, Beck), 16:05 (pp). 6, Guelph, Beck 11 (Sisca), 18:59. Penalties-Searle Gue (cross checking), 7:44; Rinaldo Ldn (roughing), 14:33; Chiarot Gue (roughing), 14:33; D’Orazio Ldn (hooking), 15:03; Varone Ldn (cross checking), 19:58.
3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Mitchell Gue (cross checking), 11:48.
OT Period- No Scoring.Penalties-No Penalties
Shootout – London 1 (Kadri NG, McRae NG, Knight G, Taylor NG, Erlich NG, Varone NG, Rinaldo NG, DeSando NG, Salters NG), Guelph 2 (Beck NG, Kennedy NG, Tresham G, Carroll NG, Mitchell NG, McNaughton NG, Sisca NG, Syvret NG, Comrie G).
Shots on Goal-London 12-12-9-4-0-37. Guelph 5-6-6-1-1-19.
Power Play Opportunities-London 0 of 5; Guelph 2 of 3.
Goalies-London, Houser 5-0-0-0 (18 shots-15 saves). Guelph, Hoyle 4-3-0-1 (37 shots-34 saves).
Referees-Matt Wilson (32), Mike Marley (31).
Linesmen-Tim Steen (75), Dustin McCrank (68).