Knights get shot at another OHL crown

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 1:31 PM ET

For the second straight year, the London Knights are heading back to the OHL championship series.

To repeat as league champs, they'll have to take one of the league's historic franchises -- the Eastern Conference winning Peterborough Petes.

London, which won its first OHL title last year en route to a Memorial Cup victory on home ice, booked back-to-backs visits to the league final with a stunning 5-4 overtime victory over the Guelph Storm before 9,090 last night at the John Labatt Centre.

"It's an unbelievable feeling," London captain Dylan Hunter said. "Words don't describe it or give it justice. This team keeps working and finds ways to win. We never quit no matter the situation."

London rookie forward Sergei Kostitsyn, a 19-year-old from Belarus, scored the game-winning goal with 2:51 left in the first overtime period as the Knights claimed their second consecutive Wayne Gretzky Trophy as Western Conference champions. The shifty European skater also assisted on David Bolland's dramatic tally with 15.3 seconds left in the third period to force overtime.

It was London's third straight dramatic win. They took Game 4 in Guelph on defenceman Ryan Martinelli's first playoff goal with two seconds left in the third period and took Game 3 at the JLC on Bolland's overtime winner.

The Petes punched their ticket to their first title series in a decade with a 7-0 home blowout victory over the Barrie Colts last night to win the East final in five games.

With the JLC busy with other events Wednesday and Thursday, the OHL final will likely start Friday night. A schedule will be released today and it is expected the Knights will alternate home games with Peterborough throughout the series.

London finished first in the OHL's overall standings and Peterborough was second. The Knights beat the Petes in both head-to-head meetings.


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