67's home iced by London

BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:08 AM ET

In the end, a battle between two guys named Danny decided the third game of the OHL championship.

And it was the London captain Danny Syvret, whose shot beat Ottawa goalie Danny Battochio for the deciding goal early in the third period, that gave the Knights a 5-4 win over the 67's last night at the Civic Centre.

The loss was Ottawa's first in nine home games during the playoffs and put the 67's in a 2-1 deficit in the best-of-seven series.

The 67's have a chance to prevent London from taking a commanding lead tomorrow night on home ice.

Battochio shouldered the blame for the winning goal.

"I just think I played it wrong, that's all," said the star goalie, who has so often bailed the 67's out during their incredible playoff run.

Syvret picked up the puck in his own zone and carried it through the neutral zone on the left side.

He unleashed a powerful slap shot from behind the left faceoff circle that got high quickly and beat Battochio on the short side, above the blocker.

Battochio wasn't sure if the puck hit a defenceman's stick in front, as the defender backed away to give the goalie a clear view.

"I should have stood up and just put my body into it, but I just went down," said Battochio. "It was pretty bad, I guess. It was my mistake.

"I'd like to have it back, but life doesn't work that way."

Syvret said the win was important because the Knights didn't want to trail the series heading into another road game tomorrow.

"It was a tough win for us because they came out very strong," said Syvret. "They were very physical."

The 67's were disappointed with the loss and left the arena a subdued bunch, knowing that they had a chance to escape with a win.

Ottawa coach Brian Kilrea was blunt in his summary, saying: "I think they played a lot better than we did."

The 67's scored first on a Chris Hulit slapper five minutes in, but the Knights rallied for the next three goals -- by Jordan Foreman, Corey Perry and David Bolland.

Ottawa scored before the end of the period, when Julian Talbot fired a shot through Bryan Bickell's screen from the left side and beat Adam Dennis.

Bolland scored his second of the game in the fifth minute of the second to restore the two-goal lead.

But Mark Mancari got the 67's back to within one just 21 seconds later when he carried the puck into the slot and slid the puck underneath Dennis.

DENNIS YANKED

After the goal, London coach Dale Hunter replaced his starter with Gerald Coleman, who made his first appearance in net since the second game of the Western Conference final against Kitchener on April 23.

Mancari's second goal of the game, scored on a deflection of a shot by Brad Staubitz, tied the game with six minutes left in the second.

After Syvret put London ahead early in the third, the Knights went into a defensive mode and prevented Ottawa from getting any good scoring chances.

OVERBLADE OVERREACTION?: Hunter says his team requested the removal of Overdrive blades from the skates of Battochio over safety concerns.

"It makes for a safe environment," Hunter said prior to Game 3. "The steel is sticking out of his skate, and it's dangerous. I don't know if it does give (the goalie) an advantage or not, but definitely they banned it in the NHL because it's dangerous."

The Knights contacted the league and requested the removal of the blades after a member of the Knights' staff noticed Battochio used the blades during Game 2 of the OHL final in London on Sunday.

Ted Baker, the OHL's director of hockey operations and its referee-in-chief, contacted the 67's on Monday and ordered the removal of the blades.

Baker said yesterday that the OHL followed the NHL's lead in banning the Overdrive blades, which aid goalies in lateral movement and traction.

The NHL banned the blades, which are attached on the insteps of each skate on the bottom of each boot, in 2001, not for safety reasons but to prevent goalies that used them from having an advantage over those that didn't.

"It's illegal for a goalie to wear or attach any device to his skate that would provide additional mobility beyond that provided by the skate blade," said Baker.


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