The last time they faced each other, London Knights goalie Adam Dennis and Plymouth counterpart Justin Peters settled their differences with their fists.
This time, they used a breakaway contest.
London captain Dylan Hunter beat Peters for the only shootout goal and Dennis stopped Whalers Evan Brophey, Chris Terry and Mike Letizia as the Knights escaped with a 3-2 win last night at Compuware Sports Arena in Plymouth, Mich.
"You don't really think about that stuff (with Peters)," Dennis said. "As a goalie, it's comforting to know you have guys like Dylan Hunter, David Bolland and Rob Schremp with you in a shootout. It's pretty tough to stop them all."
The Knights have won four straight shootouts after starting 0-2 in the game-deciding format, including a 3-2 loss in Plymouth on Nov. 12.
Peters, a Blyth native who fought Dennis at centre ice during a full-scale brawl resulting in eight suspensions on Feb. 10 at the John Labatt Centre, stopped Bolland and Schremp before Hunter won it.
Bolland was held goalless and failed to reach the magic 50 goals in 50 games mark. He has 47 goals. Schremp still has a shot at the milestone by scoring his 48th in 48 games to give the Knights a brief 2-1 lead in the third period.
"Both teams had a lot of shots (London with 47 and Plymouth with 43) but you have to credit the penalty killers (which held the Whalers to one goal on 13 power-play chances)," Dennis said.
The Knights are 4-0 to complete the first half of an eight-game road trip made necessary because the Scott Tournament of Hearts has taken over the JLC this week.
Three fights in the first period proved there was lingering discontent from two weeks ago, when Plymouth forward Jared Boll clobbered London forward Robbie Drummond with an open-ice hit. Knight Josh Beaulieu and Boll scrapped late in the period.
"The biggest thing was getting the two points," said Dennis as the Knights stayed five points ahead of Kitchener in the race for first in the Western Conference.
In Saginaw, the Spirit beat Sarnia 4-1, the Sting's 14th straight loss, to mathematically eliminate Sarnia from the playoffs for a second straight season.
Knights 3, Whalers 2 (SO)
London wins shootout 1-0
London goals: Jordan Foreman, Rob Schremp
Plymouth goals: Andrew Fournier, Tom Sestito
Next: The Knights play in Belleville Wednesday, Peterborough Thursday, Ottawa Friday and Kingston Sunday.