All along, the London Knights had the right guy on the ice to stop the Guelph Storm's high-flying top line of Ryan Callahan, Matt D'Agostini and Kelsey Wilson.
They just had him in the wrong spot.
London's hard-working veteran Trevor Kell, who had filled in on defence for the last two months, moved back to his natural position at right wing and his ferocious checking helped the Knights ring up a 3-2 overtime win Sunday night at the John Labatt Centre.
After the goal-getting Guelph group racked up 13 points in Game 2, Kell was pushed up on a line with Robbie Drummond and Josh Beaulieu and they kept the terrific Storm trio off the scoresheet in five-on-five play. Both of Guelph's goals came on the power play.
"It's an unrewarding job to be a checking line, but we needed Trevor up there," London head coach Dale Hunter said. "We had to do something after (Game 2)."
Kell doesn't know if he's back on forward for good, but he's not going to worry about it. He'll play wherever the coaches want to use him.
"Honestly, I have no idea what's going to happen," the 19-year-old Thunder Bay native said. "It was an easy change. Before the game, I just thought I've been a forward my whole life and that's how I approached it. It's not new to me. Our job was just to shut those guys down, keep our feet moving and leave the goal-scoring to our goal-scorers."
In a way, London made a risky play by moving Kell, who had been the Knights' most dependable defenceman since the playoffs started. But he took a couple of penalties in Game 2 and the Knights wanted to throw a different look at Guelph in Sunday's contest.
"They're faster than Owen Sound," Kell said. "We just have to rim it off the glass and get it out of our end. We don't really have time to go D-to-D (defenceman-to-defenceman) against them. I was mad at a couple of penalties I took and we were all looking for a better effort.
"They (Guelph) maybe didn't want to do that because that just made us mad. It's important to follow up the worst game of the season with a good one."
Kell, a Chicago Blackhawks prospect, said the Knights were angry at the way they played in Game 2 and were willing to do anything to forge a better result in front of the home crowd.
"After that game, we all knew that was our worst game and I know it was the worst loss of my junior career," Kell said. "We lost 8-1 to Owen Sound at the start of the year, but that didn't feel anything like this one. We didn't have a lot of our guys back (from pro camp) at the start of the year in that one, but we had everyone in this one. It was tough to take."
Guelph has the feeling it can steal a game at the JLC, but they only have a maximum of two more chances and now can't afford to lose on home ice. But they know they have given the Knights a hard time in this series and need to continue to frustrate their opponents.
"We're not doing anything much different than we did all year," Callahan said. "The only difference now is that it's playoffs and we're showing more commitment to the task. We're getting on them and that's what we have."