He Cann make a difference

RYAN PYETTE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:56 AM ET

ERIE, PA. -- Everyone has their own favourite Trevor Cann save.

London Knights GM Mark Hunter liked a breakaway stop on Erie rookie Greg McKegg.

A couple other teammates were impressed at how he foiled Otters veteran Justin Hodgman in tight with a sprawling denial.

The man himself favoured a pad save, turning aside Sean Jones after a cross-crease pass.

And goalie coach Dave Rook's fave?

"All of them," he said. "Trevor needed that game. (Jaroslav) Janus played well (in a 4-0 win in Game 3) and Trevor had to come back and match him."

In a great goaltending duel, Cann shone brightest and backstopped the Knights to a 4-2 victory and 3-1 series stranglehold before 3,908 last night at Tullio Arena.

"The power play, too -- that was big, too," said the 19-year-old Colorado Avalanche draft pick. "They got that one late (when London was called for too many men) and that's a tough break in the third period but we managed to hold them off and then get the empty netter (by Justin Taylor).

"It's a good win."

It took a while but Cann has figured out mentally how he has to play. For two periods, he watched the guy in the other crease -- Slovak sensation Janus -- frustrate John Tavares and limit Nazem Kadri for the second straight game with his own brand of theatrics.

But when the Otters needed a goal the most, they were toast around the London net.

"That's a difficult one to swallow because we played a great game and we had our chances there," said McKegg, the St. Thomas native thriving with extra power-play time and some deft play-making linemates. "He (Cann) was going down a little bit in the first (when he scored the opener) but later on, he was challenging us more."

Cann can also attest to the following: Scott Aarssen has a howitzer.

The Knights over-age defenceman scored the winner on a long shot with just 4.4 seconds left in the second. It stunned the arena.

"He does have a hard shot," Cann said. "You see it in practice. It's just a matter of whether it hits the net or goes over and off the glass. He got off a nice shot and those ones that go low (and just off the ice) are hard to stop.

"It's great when it's late in a period like that. It's big -- and it's pretty nice when it comes from a captain."

Aarssen said the puck went on edge a little bit. The Knights were just trying to get every shot they could at net after being snake-bitten by Janus.

"I just saw Erie was down a man (on the rush) and jumped up and Phil Varone made a nice play to find me," Aarssen said, describing the scene like a seasoned sniper. "You always got to shoot for the corners and that's what I did and I got off a pretty good one."

Aarssen and Cann have put plucky Erie in a difficult spot. The Otters are winless in 20 straight games at the John Labatt Centre and they'll have to win there tomorrow night to extend the series.

"We found out we can play with them (in the past two games)," McKegg said, "so why not there? There's no better place than the JLC."

There's been two constant threads in this series according to Mark Hunter. First, forward Phil Varone has been a reliable difference-maker all series long.

The Knights have been striving for consistency and one player has provided it.

"He was really good and that was a big goal he scored for us in the second period," Hunter said. "The last two games, he's done a great job."

The second, of course, is the continuation of hitting from behind on both sides. Yesterday, the OHL warned the teams to knock it off but Erie defenceman David Shields was kicked out in the first period for hammering Tavares from behind.

He was given a major (Michael Del Zotto scored on the ensuing power play) and a game misconduct which will be automatically reviewed by the league.

"It rattled John," Hunter said. "The league talked to us about the hits from behind and they're still happening. Johnny, I think, is OK."


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