Potruff shows 'em -- and Howe

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 9:19 AM ET

Former London Knight Ryan Pottruff has been playing like a man possessed.

The 19-year-old Guelph defenceman, who was dealt by the Knights last season, recorded the Gordie Howe hat trick (a goal, assist and a fight) against his former team and was a big reason why the Storm managed to come out with a point for a shootout loss in the 3-2 decision last night at the John Labatt Centre.

Pottruff jumped up in the play and scored his third goal of the season with under five minutes left to force overtime. He got into a spirited, bloody tussle with Kris Belan in the second period and also assisted on Londoner Leigh Salters' first OHL goal.

"It's my second straight Gordie Howe," the big Woodstock native and Carolina Hurricanes draft pick said. "I also got one (Saturday) at home against Owen Sound."

Pottruff started the season in the stands while serving a 12-game suspension for slashing former teammate Corey Perry in last year's London-Guelph Western Conference quarter-final series.

"It was pretty tough sitting out for the first part of the season. You want to get out there and start playing," he said. "But I got the chance to watch and learn the rules of the new OHL and observe what was happening on the ice. I improved my foot speed so I could keep up and my ankle (which he broke last year while with London) is healed so I feel pretty good."

Guelph is counting on Pottruff for major minutes, especially with mainstay Ryan Parent at the Canadian world junior tryout camp.

"He's a guy who we need a lot from this year," Guelph head coach Dave Barr said.


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