Knights lose back-to-back
London Community News
By Jonathon Brodie/London Community News / Twitter: @jonathonbrodie
The London Knights looked to create the perfect storm against Guelph on Sunday (Sept. 30), but they barely drizzled after a 4-1 loss at Budweiser Gardens.
The Knights were making it rain pucks against Storm netminder Garret Sparks with the third-year goaltender sheltering his net from 45 shots.
“(Sparks) played well for them, but I don’t think we tested him all that well. I thought we had a lot of shots from the outside,” said Knights' captain Scott Harrington. “It’s something that we’re going to have to change if we want to start putting pucks in the back of the net.”
You only need to hit the net once to score and Guelph proved that when Scott Kosmachuk put the puck in the back of the net on the first shot of the game to pick up his first goal of the 2012-13 campaign. He would get his second goal of the year by adding some insurance late in the third period when he slipped one by London’s Kevin Bailie to make the game 3-1.
Storm defenceman Zack Leslie sniped a goal from around the top of the circle midway through the second period to take home the game winner.
The scoring was a secondary story to the roughness between the teams. There’s no love lost between the Knights and Storm after playing each other last week (Sept. 23) where 29 penalties were racked up between both en route to an 8-2 win for London.
By final whistle of Sunday’s matchup 31 infractions had been called with three players getting ejected from the game—Guelph’s Tyler Bertuzzi for instigating a fight, and London’s Ryan Rupert for a check to the head and rookie Remi Elie for instigating a fight.
“It’s tough to get any flow to the game, but guys were going all out and really trying to get back into the game in the third (period) and it seemed there was a penalty called every shift," Harrington said. "It’s frustrating, but it’s part of the game.”
Headed into the matchup, the Knights had put in three goals on 17 power play chances this season, and they added another one when Brett Welychka tipped a shot six minutes into the first period.
“It’s one of those things where you got to bear down and kind of forget about what the statistics are and just play through it and do your best,” Welychka said, collecting his third goal on the season.
London improved their own penalty kill on the afternoon, putting a stop to seven Guelph power plays. Before the game, the Knights had only allowed six goals with half them coming when down a man.
The second period was finished early due to a scary moment when Storm Cody McNaughton went down and needed to be taken off the ice by stretcher to a waiting ambulance after going in for a check on Knights Tommy Hughes and running into the 6-foot-2 London defenceman’s elbow.
The Knights lost their last game held Friday (Sept. 28) at home when they fell 2-1 to the Kitchener Rangers.
The Knights only lost back-to-back games twice last year in the regular season and both didn’t come until March.
London will look to put an end to the consecutive losses when they take on the Windsor Spitfires at home Friday (Oct. 5). The last time the Knights and the Spitfires met was in the opening round of the playoffs last year where the Knights swept the series in four games.