Kaleta buries 2nd chance

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 11:16 AM ET

Peterborough's Patrick Kaleta couldn't beat Adam Dennis on a penalty shot in double overtime.

But a bank pass off the London Knights goalie's stick less than 10 minutes later made sure the veteran forward remained the Petes' sudden-death hero.

Kaleta scored his third overtime winner of the playoffs with 5:40 left in the second overtime as the Petes stole a marathon Game 1 in the OHL final 6-5 before 9,090 last night at the John Labatt Centre.

Peterborough is 7-0 in overtime as more than half of its 13 playoff wins have come in the extra session. It was the Knights' first defeat in six overtimes this spring.

"You expect to score when you get a penalty shot, especially in double overtime," said Kaleta, a native of Angola, N.Y. "It didn't happen, but you can't get down yourself. I tried to get the puck in front to Jordan Staal and it went off Dennis' stick and in. They're not always pretty in overtime."

Dennis kicked aside 69 shots in five periods of work and robbed Kaleta on the penalty shot after the Petes forward was hauled down on a breakaway by Scott Aarssen. But Kaleta got his revenge.

"I saw Staal wide open in front of the net and tried to intercept the pass and it hit my stick," Dennis said. "We had our share of breaks in overtimes during these playoffs and it was a bounce we didn't get. It's a disappointment, but it's only one game."

London forward Rob Schremp said his team felt pretty good, but admitted the ice had turned bad and the Knights relied too much on Dennis to bail them out.

"You can only turn the puck over in your own end so many times," London forward Rob Schremp said. "We hung Adam out to dry and we can't do that against a team like that. They're the Eastern Conference champs for a reason."

London captain Dylan Hunter banged in a dramatic power-play goal with 2:43 left in the third period to set up the extra session.

Peterborough forward Staal, a projected first-round NHL draft pick this summer and the younger brother of Carolina Hurricanes star Eric Staal, scored his second goal of the game on a third-period power play to give the Petes a 5-4 lead. But after Peterborough defenceman Bryan Young took his fourth minor penalty, for holding with 3:57 left in the third, he opened the door for London and Hunter barged through with his 12th goal of the playoffs.

The teams head to the Peterborough Memorial Centre for Game 2 tomorrow. The Knights are 3-2 there in the past five years, including a 4-2 win on March 2 that vaulted them into first overall -- a position they never surrendered the rest of the regular season.

"The first one is a feeling-out game," London forward David Bolland said. "We played them twice during the regular season but those games are over and it's not enough to know their tendencies. You can watch tape but until you're out there and get to know what they're going to do, it's kind of a waiting game."

Waiting for the overtime hero became a game in itself.

Tied 1-1 after the first period, the teams combined for six goals in the second and each added one in the third.

Knights star Rob Schremp had a goal and two assists, giving him 35 assists in 16 games, an OHL single-season record for playoff helpers. Peterborough's Jason Dawe had the old standard of 33, set in 1993.

GAME GLANCE

Petes 6, Knights 5 (2OT)

Peterborough leads best-of-seven OHL final 1-0

Peterborough goals: Jordan Staal (2), Fredrik Naslund, Liam Reddox, Steve Downie and Patrick Kaleta

London goals: Scott Aarssen, Ryan Martinelli, David Bolland, Rob Schremp, Dylan Hunter

Next: Game 2 is tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. in Peterborough (Rogers Sportsnet).

PETES 6, KNIGHTS 5 (2OT)

PETERBOROUGH LEADS 1-0


Videos

Photos