It wasn't the blowout Knights wanted

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 8:40 AM ET

Riding the bus with the London Knights for 35 years, trainer Don Brankley has seen his share of snow, sleet and ice on the way to road games.

But he can't remember one of his team's tilts being postponed due to high winds, which is what happened to the Knights on their way to face the Soo Greyhounds Sunday night.

London was the second Sault Ste. Marie opponent in five days to have a game postponed because its bus couldn't cross the Mackinac Bridge, located in the Straits of Mackinac, connecting Michigan's upper and lower peninsulas.

The Sarnia Sting were turned back at the bridge last Wednesday. That game was rescheduled for Feb. 7.

London GM Mark Hunter and Soo GM Dave Torrie are discussing a makeup date.

"There haven't been too many games postponed because of weather over the years," Brankley said. "That's certainly the first time I remember not getting there because of wind.

"We did have one cancelled during (the game, when a pipe burst at the Ice House). We were leading that one and that was the year we went 3-60-3 (in 1995-96).

"It was kind of an example of how the whole season went."

After losing 3-2 in a shootout at Plymouth Saturday night, London went on to West Branch, Mich., for the night.

Before setting out in the morning, the Knights discovered the Mackinac Bridge Authority had restricted buses from making the crossing.

"It was a letdown. You expect to play a game and you end up going all that way and have to turn around and come home," London captain Dylan Hunter said.

"I got up around 9 a.m. because Rob Schremp got me up -- the boy can't sleep. We all ate and then instead of getting on the bus to go to the Sault, we got on the bus and went back home."

The Knights know they missed a good time to face the Greyhounds, who have lost nine of their last 10 games.

London wanted to play quickly after a muted performance in Plymouth. The Knights' loss Saturday night leaves the Saginaw Spirit as the only team in the OHL that hasn't played overtime or gone to a shootout this season.

"It sucks to lose that way, but I probably wouldn't be saying that if we won," Dylan Hunter said. "It was exciting for the fans there.

"We practise the shootout (breakaways) every week. It's important because it's a point in the standings. We have some guys who are pretty good at it -- Dave (Bolland) is good. So is Rob Schremp, too. I'm OK at it and Sergei Kostitsyn has a lot of moves."

The Knights now face their first case of three games in three nights Thursday at home against Guelph, Friday against Owen Sound and Saturday in Erie.


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