Knights fall in shootout
London Community News
By Jonathon Brodie/London Community News / Twitter: @jonathonbrodie
The London Knights peppered the Guelph Storm’s net with shots. crashed their division rivals crease and even tried to sneak pucks past their opposing goalie on penalty shots, but once again the Knights ran into a common problem Saturday (Oct. 27) at Budweiser Gardens—a hot goalie.
Despite the Knights hitting the Storm’s net 45 times compared to Guelph who only had 24 shots, London lost 4-3 in a shootout. Five Knight shooters (Seth Griffith, Max Domi, Matt Rupert, Kyle Platzer and Bo Horvat) couldn’t find the back of the net to move the teams record to 2-2 in shootouts.
“I like playing the Knights, it’s fun,” said Storm goaltender Garret Sparks. “There’s a ton of people and high energy in the building.”
Griffith contributed two goals in the game to become the second goal leader in the Ontario Hockey League with 12 in 14 games. Josh Anderson scored his fourth goal to round out the scoring for London.
Jake Patterson started between the pipes for the Knights and was unsuccessful picking up his third win in as many games when opening the matchup.
In six losses on the year thus far for London, opposing goalies have played better than usual to overcome the defending OHL champs, averaging a combined .948 save percentage in the wins over the Knights.
The best goalie London has met this season is Kitchener’s John Gibson, who blocks 93 per cent of the shots he faces. In the Ranger’s 2-1 win over London on Sept. 28, the second-year netminder had .977 save percentage.
It’s not a lack of trying why the Knights came out of the games with a loss. Of their five defeats London has outshot their opponent four times and they actually average two more shots in their losses than the games they’ve won.
“We’re getting our chances and everything, it’s just not going in for us right now,” Griffith said. “We’ve run into some hot goalies, so I think we just got to bear down a little bit more on our chances and we’ll be fine.”
The last time the Knights met the Storm at Budweiser Gardens, Guelph’s Sparks played one of his best games this season when he stopped 44 shots to lead his team to a 4-1 victory.
If London could have pulled off the win it would have put them tied with the Storm at the top of the Midwest Division.
The five-team division is easily the most competitive in the OHL with only five points separating Guelph and the fourth-place Rangers.
The Knights travel to Windsor on Thursday (Nov. 1) to take on the Spitfires before coming back home the following day (Nov. 2) to play the Belleville Bulls. London will have a grudge match against Guelph on Sunday (Nov. 4) on the road.
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