Storm surge nips Knights

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 9:09 AM ET

GUELPH -- Ex-Knight Ryan MacDonald just grinned when asked if he deserved the start in goal over London's Adam Dennis for the Western conference team at the OHL all-star game on Feb. 1 in Belleville.

As Western all-star bench boss, London head coach Dale Hunter will pick the starting goalie and it'll be a tough choice after his old goalie MacDonald outduelled his current guy Dennis again in Guelph's 4-3 win last night in Guelph.

"It doesn't matter (who starts). It's an all-star game and you know you're going to play half," said MacDonald, who was dealt away by London for Dennis at last year's trade deadline.

MacDonald, who made 25 saves, and his Storm mates keep making life miserable for the Knights, who fell for the fourth time in five games against Guelph this year. London finished 0-3 in the Royal City this season and will face their frustrating rivals for the final time Sunday in London unless the two clubs go head-to-head in the playoffs.

That's becoming an increasingly worrisome proposition for London, which went 1-for-8 with the man advantage last night.

"Your best penalty killer is your goalie and Macker played well as he usually does against us," Knights forward Adam Perry said.

"We went 0-3 here but we played here at the start of the year (before London's big guns returned) and during the world juniors. So this was our first game as a full lineup against them and they did a good job against us"

The seven goals marked the highest total scored in a game between London and Guelph this year. The Storm's patience and quality penalty killing offset the Knights' offensive wizards and after one MacDonald save, Rob Schremp rolled his eyes and looked into the rafters but didn't say anything to his old friend.

"We got some bounces but hard work pays off and we worked hard," MacDonald said. "We know their power play, we study it and we take pride in our penalty kill. Special teams usually make the difference and it was the game tonight."

Dennis, who started his 40th consecutive game in the London crease, had some tough luck as one puck banked in off David Bolland and he appeared to have the game-winner covered before it rolled loose 55 seconds into the third period.

"I just came out around from behind the net and saw the puck there and just fired it as hard as I could," Guelph forward Kelsey Wilson said. "It's a huge win for us. We're chasing them and as (Guelph head coach Dave Barr) said, that's probably the best team in our league so it's nice to get another win against them."

London, which returned home from Erie at 3 a.m. yesterday, finished its busiest week so far this season with three wins in four games, but the loss hurt because it came to a Storm team right behind them in the standings.

"They (Guelph) played three in three (nights) so I don't want to use that as an excuse," said London head coach Dale Hunter. "It's usually low-scoring, boring hockey (against Guelph). We just couldn't capitalize on our chances and that's what it comes down to."

GAME GLANCE

Storm 4, Knights 3

Guelph goals: Tyler Doig, Jason Pitton, Ryan Callahan, Kelsey Wilson

London goals: Dylan Hunter, Robbie Drummond, Jordan Foreman

Next: London heads to Windsor on Thursday to take on the hot Spitfires before playing the Sarnia Sting on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the John Labatt Centre.


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