Knights to face former practice mate

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 8:08 AM ET

A week into the OHL season, the London Knights are still trying to sort out their goaltending situation.

The Guelph Storm have no such concern -- thanks in large part to the Knights.

Ex-Knight Ryan MacDonald, a 20-year-old from Chesley, and Jason Guy, a 17-year-old former London prospect, are keeping crease duties for Guelph this season after being dealt by GM Mark Hunter for goalie Adam Dennis last year.

The trade worked well for both squads: Guelph shored up a weak link on its roster and Dennis was in net when the Knights beat the Rimouski Oceanic 4-0 to wrap up the 2005 Memorial Cup title.

So far this season, the veteran MacDonald has recorded a victory, loss and shootout loss in the Storm's first three games. Guy is poised to make his OHL debut tonight against the winless Knights at 7 p.m. at the Guelph Sports and Entertainment Centre.

"I guess it's fitting it's against them," Guy said yesterday in Guelph. "There was a time early last year where you could see us (him and MacDonald) as the tandem in London this season."

MacDonald and Guy met before through the Knights and a couple of goalie schools.

"He was an instructor at a few camps I was at and I was the demonstrator," Guy said. "It was great to have him around."

Guy, a Whitby native and sixth-round pick by London in 2004, played for the junior B St. Thomas Stars last season so the Knights could monitor his development. He often practised with the OHL club and got to face shots from the likes of Corey Perry, Danny Syvret and Brandon Prust.

"Robbie Schremp would stay out and take extra shots and try to show me up," the 6-foot-1, 172-pound Guy said. "It was a great experience getting used to players like that. I was at the Memorial Cup and followed the team, but I was traded before I played there so I wasn't as attached.

"It wasn't like what happened to Ryan with being traded and the Memorial Cup was down the road."

MacDonald, a proven winner who previously led the Stratford Cullitons to an Ontario Hockey Association junior B title, didn't want to leave London and wasn't pleased by the trade.

With Guelph, he handed London one of its seven regular-season losses and shone in the first-round playoff series the powerful Knights won in a four-game sweep.

"Of course I watched the rest of the playoffs and the Cup. I have a lot of buddies on that team. I was happy for those guys," MacDonald said of the Knights. "It's kind of a different team this season but I still called up this week and talked to (London equipment manager Chris Maton) to see what was going on."

As a rookie, MacDonald posted a league-leading 2.05 goals-against average in 2003-04 with the Knights while sharing duties with Gerald Coleman. Last year, it was 2.31 in 17 games before he was traded and 2.68 in 16 games with the Storm.

"People would always say the low average was because of the team in front of me, but I hope I proved that wrong last year," he said.

"This season, we have a young team and it's going to take us a few games to bring down the learning curve. We've got (right winger Mark) O'Leary back on defence right now and I don't think he's ever played there before.

"But I always feel if I make some saves, we have a chance to win."


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