Cann leaves Storm a spent force

RYAN PYETTE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:34 AM ET

GUELPH -- Guelph's Taylor Beck looked to the heavens.

Storm captain Matt Kennedy smashed his stick against the glass.

Trevor Cann loved every minute of it.

Goalies crave looks of frustration on shooters' faces. After a couple of uncertain and tentative weeks, the London Knights starter saw it again.

His 39-save performance befuddled Guelph in a 5-1 win before a sellout crowd of 4,943 yesterday at the Sleeman Centre.

"When you see that (opposing players questioning how to solve him), it gets you riled up and makes you want to play even harder," the 19-year-old from Oakville said. "I've felt like it's been coming along better lately and that was the best I've felt in a while."

The only minute Cann didn't love was the final one. Guelph's Cody McNaughton tipped in a point shot (on the Storm's 10th power play) with 33.6 seconds left to ruin the Colorado second-rounder's bid for a fifth shutout this season.

"It's tough to give up one like that with just 33 seconds left," he said, "but just for us to play well and get a win like this, it's a good feeling."

No goalies like rebounds, but the Knights bounced back from three losses last weekend with three straight wins.

Cann responded to defeats in four straight starts with three garden-variety victories -- a shootout against Erie, overtime in Kitchener and a standout performance yesterday.

The Knights opted to stay over in Kitchener Sunday night to get ready for yesterday's Family Day matinee in Guelph. Cann had trouble hitting the sack.

"I was all wired after the (Kitchener win) and it always takes a while to come down like that," Cann said. "You're fighting trying to get sleep and you talk to the guys. It's 2:30 (a.m.) before I finally fell asleep. That's just part of it.

"But we came out here and had some good energy early in the game."

The Knights had a pair of first-period five-on-threes and scored on both. Cann gave Guelph a long two-man edge by flipping the puck over the glass, but didn't get rattled as he was his team's best penalty killer.

"It's a big boost for a team when a goalie makes saves like that," London defenceman Matt Clarke said. "We really needed a weekend like this after what happened last week.

"We got some goals against a team that thinks defence-first."

It was also necessary. London, which missed Kevin Montgomery (flu) and heavy hitter Zac Rinaldo (indefinite suspension) plays Central Division-leading Brampton Thursday and league-leading Windsor again on Friday.

Momentum helps and the Knights have it. They scored more than three goals in a game for the first time in nine outings and have seven power-play goals in their last three contests.

John Tavares added two third-period goals and triggered two video reviews. Now 3-0 as the Knights' captain, he needs 14 goals in his final 11 regular-season games to pass former Ottawa 67 Peter Lee as the OHL's career goal-scoring king (215).

As a Knight, Tavares has six goals in two games at Kitchener and five more in two games against Guelph.

"They move the puck like the London Knights of old," Guelph head coach Jason Brooks said. "John Tavares was his usual dangerous self every shift. The difference was the five-on-threes (in the first). They scored on theirs and bang, bang, you're behind 2-0 against a very good team.

"We had our own (five-on-three) and created a few chances, but nothing significant. It's easy when the shots are right at the symbol. (Cann) made the saves he had to, but we didn't test him enough."

Down by three in the third, the Storm needed an early goal. But Beck had a chance in a scramble that was swatted off the goal line.

"I think it was the force field (in front of the net)," Brooks said.

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Game glance

Knights 5, Storm 1

London goals: John Tavares (2), Michael Del Zotto, Justin Taylor, Nazem Kadri

Guelph goal: Cody McNaughton

Next: The Knights head to Brampton to face world junior star Cody Hodgson and the Battalion on Thursday at 7 p.m.


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