Londoner shuts out Knights

RYAN PYETTE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:26 AM ET

BRAMPTON -- Jacob Riley grew up five minutes from the old London Ice House.

He and his dad used to go to the rink all the time. He followed the London Knights closely.

And yesterday, he shut them out for his first OHL victory.

The 16-year-old former Junior Knight midget kicked aside 20 shots and the rest of his Brampton Battalion mates kept the London shooters at bay in a 2-0 decision before 2,539 yesterday at the Powerade Centre.

It was Riley's first home appearance.

It was his second OHL game. He lost in Barrie on Oct. 24, surrendering three goals to the Colts.

This time, he beat London veteran Michael Hutchinson, who used to own the Troops when he was with Barrie.

"The guys did a great job on the penalty kill (the Knights went 0-for-6 with the man advantage)," said Riley, Brampton's seventh-round pick last spring. "I've practised hard all along. It felt great to get the win (against his hometown team)."

Brampton GM and coach Stan Butler put Riley in because Patrick Killeen had played back-to-back division games.

Riley took two shots in the mask.

Phil McRae hit the post dead-on behind him early in the third.

That was the Knights' best chance.

"Both teams playing three-in-three, it was one of those games where the team that scored first was going to win," London coach Dale Hunter said. "They got one early, it was kind of fluky, and it held up. Just one of those games."

Trying for the tie with an extra attacker, Steve Tarasuk knocked one into his own net.

The Knights haven't had much luck at the Bunker lately. They've lost their last three visits and fell to 3-4-0-1 on the road this season.

They're 10-1 at home this year.

London only had three shots in the second period. That's a season low.

"It was hard to be bored," Riley said, "with all the fights and everything going on."

There were four bouts in the second period. Phil Varone got hurt rushing to the defence of Daniel Erlich. He was thrown down by big Brampton forward Stephon Thorne.

Varone left clutching his shoulder and went to hospital for examination. Dale Hunter called it an upper-body injury.

"We like to think of ourselves as a pack of wolves," said Erlich, who co-leads the Knights in scoring with Varone. "Good for Phil. We stick up for each other on this team. We just had too many turnovers. I had too many and they did a good job of closing up the middle.

"We're going to have to go back to practise . . . on Monday or Tuesday and get back to work."

Probably without Varone.

Clearly, the Knights need to generate some more offence. They've been shut out twice -- once by Windsor journeyman Troy Passingham and once by an OHL rookie in Riley.

"A pretty good weekend -- we had two good wins at home and then, this one, it was really a 1-0 game," Hunter said. "I thought we had some good chances. It didn't happen."

ryan.pyette@sunmedia.ca

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GAME GLANCE

Battalion 2, Knights 0

Brampton goals: Barclay Goodrow, Stephon Thorne

Shutout: Jacob Riley

Next: The Knights head to Kitchener to face the Rangers in a battle for first in the Midwest Division on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Memorial Auditorium.


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