Knights fall to Whalers

MORRIS DALLA COSTA -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 12:26 PM ET

PLYMOUTH -- There is no more appropriate ending for a shootout than a shootout.

Plymouth Whaler Chris Terry fired the shot heard round the Compuware Sports Arena last night as he beat London Knights' goalie Adam Dennis to give the Whalers a 3-2 shootout win in an Ontario Hockey League game.

You call four goals in regulation time a shootout?

Absolutely. If it wasn't for the work of Dennis and his Whaler counterpart, Ryan Nie, the game never would have made it to overtime. The Knights had 46 shots on goal and the Whalers 45.

It was entertaining, edge-of-the-seat stuff. In fact, the shootout went into a sudden-death round. It's been a long time since the Compuware Sports Arena was that loud.

Knights forward Dave Bolland scored in the shootout while teammates Rob Schremp and Dylan Hunter missed.

Mike Letizia scored for the Whalers while John Vigilante and Dan Collins missed.

Sergie Kostitsyn was the Knights' fourth shooter and he missed giving Terry the spotlight.

"It's a tough way to lose a game," said Dennis. "It's a great way to win it. You don't feel any pressure. You feel more pressure when you're playing four-on-four in overtime."

The Knights went into the Plymouth on a five-game winning streak, having lost only once in their last 10 games. They'll gain a point from the shootout loss. It also marked the end of Bolland's 16-game point streak.

The Knights head to Sault Ste. Marie where they'll play the Greyhounds tonight. There was some consideration, especially if he faced a lot of shots, to giving the night off to Dennis who played in his 15th straight game. They'd like to give him a night off but he's playing very well. And after dropping a point in Plymouth, the Knights don't want to drop any more in the Sault.

"If I were a betting man, I'd say Adam is going to play. I'll talk to him to see how he feels," said Knights coach Dale Hunter.

The answer came quickly.

"Not tired, I want to play," said Dennis.

Hunter did say the Knights need to tighten up defensively.

"They forecheck hard and played well but we gave up too many shots," he said.

The Knights also had their power play, operating at an almost .350 clip before the game, desert them for the night. They went 0-7.

It wasn't as if the Whalers didn't give them enough opportunities. The Whalers played with fire for most of the first period. The Knights had a two-man advantage for almost 4 1/2 minutes and couldn't score.

The Whalers took advantage of their own power play in the second period. They opened the scoring when Letizia hammered home a rebound and then went up 2-1 late in that period when Dan Collins cashed in on another power play.

Sandwiched between the two was a typical Rob Schremp goal. He drifted down the left wing with two Whalers back. Nie gave him six inches on the short side near the top of the net and that's where Schremp buried the puck with a slapshot. It extended his goal-scoring streak to seven games.

Schremp tied the game in the third period when he steered a loose puck into an empty net.

It's the beginning of a busy time for the Knights. It's the first three-game in a three night stretch for them.

They do it again this week with games Thursday and Friday at home and away on another long bus trip to Erie on Saturday. Their home games are against tough teams, the Guelph Storm and Owen Sound Attack.

Whalers 3, Knights 2 (SO)

London goals: Rob Schremp (2)

Whaler goals: Mike Letizia, Dan Collins

Next: The Knights spent last night in West Branch, Mich. They head to Sault Ste. Marie today to play the Greyhounds at 7 p.m.


Videos

Photos