McInerney feels at home in Sarnia

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 8:20 AM ET

Ryan McInerney's final game as a Soo Greyhound happened to coincide with the London Knights' first win of the season.

A few days after London dumped the Hounds 6-2 on Oct. 2 at the John Labatt Centre, the swift-skating 17-year-old surprised many by packing up his gear and going home to Oakville. He reported he didn't want to play anymore for the team that picked him fourth overall in the 2004 OHL draft.

Four-and-a-half weeks later, McInerney was back at the JLC playing for his new team, the Sarnia Sting, who acquired him and defenceman Tyson Aitcheson from the Greyhounds Oct. 31. The gifted forward contributed an assist yesterday but also picked up a pivotal high-sticking penalty on David Bolland in the third period, on which the Knights scored to kick-start an 8-4 come-from-behind win.

"I never wanted to give up playing hockey but I wasn't having fun playing in the Sault and I wanted to get back to having fun playing the game," McInerney said. "I feel like I have that chance in Sarnia."

McInerney has two goals and three points in his first three games in Sarnia. That quick production has helped his comfort level soar.

"My teammates accepted me right away but it does help when you score a couple right out of the gate," he said. "I bring the same stuff I always do. Skill and speed. That's not going to change."

To get McInerney and Aitcheson, Sarnia gave up defenceman Trevor Solomon, a Sault Ste. Marie native, and Londoner Scott Restoule, who had been a point-a-game guy for the Sting.

"In deals like that, you always have to trade good players to get good ones back," Sting head coach Shawn Camp said. "Our power play is a bit of a work in progress and what Ryan brings is some speed to it. We felt it had got a little stagnant and he allows us to do things a lot quicker."

Former Knight Harrison Reed also picked up an assist in his first game against his old team. Reed didn't play much in London's march to the Memorial Cup last year but he was around the team constantly and got a taste of that winning environment.

"Harrison's been super. He always works hard and the points are starting to come," Camp said. "Being part of that championship team in London last year rubs off on you and you see it in his work ethic. He comes every day to give an honest effort."


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