Knights get a bit of revenge

London Knights forward Rob Schremp celebrates at the London bench after beating the Guelph Storm in...

London Knights forward Rob Schremp celebrates at the London bench after beating the Guelph Storm in game four of their OHL playoff matchup in Guelph, Ont. on Tuesday, March 29, 2005. (London Free Press/Morris Lamont)

JIM CRESSMAN -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 9:56 AM ET

GUELPH -- Corey Perry and the London Knights exorcised a playoff demon last night.

Perry scored two goals as the Knights defeated the Guelph Storm 5-2 to sweep their best-of-seven OHL Western Conference quarter-final.

The final buzzer brought a number of brooms onto the ice, carried in by London fans among the 4,407 at the Guelph Sports and Entertainment Centre.

Last year the Storm spoiled the party for the Knights, defeating them in the conference final after London had finished first overall.

"We knew coming in this year we wanted to prove to Guelph we could beat them," said Perry. "And it didn't matter when we played them, we just wanted to beat them.

"It didn't matter who played on the team. It's where we are, the city, the fans.

"We just wanted to make sure we came out tonight and put them away, especially in their home arena, because they beat us in our home arena last year."

The Knights, who finished first overall again this season, are in this year's Memorial Cup as host team. But from the start of training camp, players said they wanted to go to the tournament as league champions.

"We can't have a season go to waste because we didn't win the OHL championship," said Perry. "Everything we've done this year is out the door.

"Last year might be dim now but it's not going to erase it. Everybody is still going to remember Game 7 in our home arena, tied 3-3, 10 minutes left."

Guelph won 6-3, then swept Mississauga for the OHL title.

"We wanted to make sure we came into this season having that mind-set. It's been motivation for everything this season."

Perry also collected one assist last night, giving the regular-season scoring champ four goals and six assists in the series.

"Last year I didn't score in the first round of the playoffs. I had to wait until the Erie (conference semifinals). It's nice to get a few goals under my belt now."

The Storm switched goalies last night, going with Danny Taylor after ex-Knight Ryan MacDonald played the first three games.

Dan Fritsche beat Taylor just 44 seconds in. Mike McLean tied it for Guelph with a short-handed goal at 4:03 of the second period. Then Perry made it 2-1 for London at 7:47.

Perry scored his second goal during a two-man advantage at 10:30 as the Storm kept testing the league's best power play (9 for 29 in the series).

Kyle Spurr scored another short-handed goal for Guelph at 11:10 of the second, but 11 seconds later Rob Schremp connected on a power play.

Bryan Rodney scored an empty-netter with 27 seconds left in the game. London outshot Guelph 41-22 last night, 178-87 in the series.

Dylan Hunter said the Knights need 12 more wins.

"I want to go (to the Memorial Cup) in the front door. It wouldn't feel right if we went there without the OHL championship.

"It's a desire to be the best and to show everybody you are the best, not just on paper but in reality. That's the most important thing."

Just down the corridor, Storm over-age forward Rick Steadman was outside the dressing room, his head down.

Steadman, a nephew of Knights owners Mark and Dale Hunter, was traded Jan. 5 for defenceman Dan Girardi.

"They're making a great run and I hope the best for them as individuals. But it is a hard pill to swallow," he said.

His junior career ended after a trip to the Memorial Cup was snatched away.

"It was a deal they had to make. They needed another defenceman, so I just took it in stride. You just go on and try to figure out something to do next year."

GAME GLANCE

Knights 5, Storm 2

The series: London wins the best-of-seven OHL Western Conference quarter-final 4-0.

London goals: Corey Perry (2), Dan Fritsche, Rob Schremp, Bryan Rodney

Guelph goals: Mike McLean, Kyle Spurr


Videos

Photos