Brick House solid as a rock

RYAN PYETTE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:21 AM ET

Michael Hutchinson is one of the OHL's top veteran goalies.

He's a Boston Bruins third-round draft pick and could be a Canadian world junior contender.

But this isn't the London Knights of Adam Dennis or Steve Mason.

This team has faith in the Brick House, too.

The Knights turned to rookie Michael Houser in their redemption tilt for top spot in the Midwest Division with the Rangers last night in Kitchener -- and he backstopped them to a 5-2 win.

Houser has played nine games for the Knights. He has seven wins and hasn't allowed more than three goals in any outing.

"I hadn't played in a while and I talked to some people about it," said the 17-year-old from Wexford, Pa. "I just tried to prepare myself. I was looking forward to it. But the guys really did a great job in front of me. They kept them to the outside.

"(Kitchener) didn't have a lot of scoring chances and it was a good win."

The Knights have a horse in Hutchinson. He watched Londoner Matt Hackett play the whole way in the Super Series game in Windsor on Monday.

He beat Oshawa on Sunday and Erie on Friday and split the crease with old teammate Peter Di Salvo with the OHL team last Thursday in Barrie.

"We don't want to get in a situation where a goalie has to play five games in six days," London assistant coach Jacques Beaulieu said.

In the past, the Knights might have tried it with one of their older horses, but not with Houser looking so strong.

"That's what you do when you have two good goalies," London goaltending coach Bill Dark said. "When the decision was being considered who to play when, Michael (Houser) was going to play one of these three games this week.

"That way, we always have a fresh guy in net every game."

Hutchinson had a subpar performance in London's last Kitchener trip a week and a half ago. But he snagged a couple of road wins for the Knights and could've roared into the Aud with fire in his eyes and revenge on his mind.

Instead, Houser stepped up in his biggest assignment this season.

"Kitchener wasn't Mike (Hutchinson's) best game," Dark said, "and we talked with him about being just 10% better in that game, (then) he's going to be where we need him to be.

"But the travel (to and from Windsor) is as tiring as playing in the game. Plus, we have faith in Michael Houser."

And why not?

He has lost twice -- once in a marathon shootout in Guelph and in his previous start against Saginaw.

, who caught some luck with breakaways out of the penalty box.

Last night, he stared down Brandon Maxwell, another strong American goalie, in a tough rink.

"It was a game we needed," Houser said.


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