The Guelph Storm face a dilemma, one that brought down a lot of teams during the OHL regular season.
It's this: The London Knights commit few mistakes -- with, or without the puck -- thereby providing opponents with limited scoring opportunities.
London leads Guelph 2-0 in their best-of-seven Western Conference quarter-final. The Storm have scored only three goals and have been outshot 90-39 -- 54-25 in the opener, 36-14 in the second.
The Knights have scored only five goals, winning 3-2 and 2-1, but that's been enough.
The Storm got just five shots on Knights goalie Gerald Coleman in the last two periods in Friday's Game 2. Storm coach-GM Dave Barr said the Knights' solid forecheck limits the opposition's chances.
Barr said that was proved by the fact the Knights broke their own OHL record for fewest goals- against, allowing 125 this season after 147 last season. It tied the Canadian Hockey League record set last season by the eventual Memorial Cup champion Kelowna Rockets.
"I really think a good forecheck sets up a good backcheck, and the Knights are doing a great job off the forecheck," said Barr, who played 10 years in the NHL.
"So, when we do get it out of our zone -- a lot times we're just chipping it out, we're not carrying it out, and that's puck possession -- boom, they're wheeling back into our zone and have a good forecheck going again.
"And that's almost on a continuing basis. We have to somehow break that cycle more often than not."
Barr also feels his team isn't making the best of the few opportunities it does get.
"In Game 1, we had seven or eight good opportunities where we missed the net and not only are you not missing on that scoring chance, but you're missing on a rebound chance as well.
"I didn't think we had as many of those (Friday) just because we didn't have as many opportunities."
Barr said the Knights shut down his team from the middle of the second period on Friday.
He said Storm goalie Ryan MacDonald, traded to Guelph by the Knights on Jan. 10 for Adam Dennis, has done a superb job, stopping 85 of 90 shots.
"They usually take good shots, not just shots from anywhere and they're certainly getting good chances."
MacDonald will start his third straight game in the Storm net. The Knights, however, will stick with their rotation. Dennis, who played Game 1, goes back in net tonight.
"We're happy with the way both played, it's just a matter of fitting guys into some games for the first round and we'll go from there," Knights assistant coach Jacques Beaulieu said yesterday.
"With the back-to-back games, too, it's nice to get both of them in. At some point I think we're going to identify one player, but at this point and time we're going to be patient.
"They both have got to be ready to play and it's a good situation right now. We're not giving up a lot of scoring chances, so it's not like they're getting a whole pile of work."
The series: The London Knights lead the Guelph Storm 2-0 in their best-of-seven OHL Western Conference quarter-final.
Next: Game 3 is tonight at the John Labatt Centre. Game 4 is tomorrow at the Guelph Sports and Entertainment Centre. Both go at 7 p.m.