GUELPH — Seth Griffith has the instincts of a goal-scoring shark.
He fired high on a tying-goal try late Friday against Plymouth.
Did he fret all day about it?
Nope, he just gobbled up the next goalie in his path — Guelph’s Brandon Foote — with two goals in a crazy third period to stake a 5-3 Knights win over the disappointing Storm before 3,993 Saturday night at the Sleeman Centre.
“I just put it (Friday night’s glass rattler) behind me and moved on,” the 17-year-old forward said. “I’m happy I scored (London captain Mike D’Orazio goaded him into saying it) but I’m really just happy we got the win.”
Griffith, though, has one more errant shot to think about. His hat trick try at an empty net in the final minute went just wide.
Didn’t miss by much, eh?
“Nope,” the Wallaceburg native said.
He wasn’t the only Knight on a razor’s edge. Jarred Tinordi, back from knee woes, and Guelph captain Tyler Carroll started duking it out at the end of the second.
Storm star Mike Latta, who last year tried unsuccessfully to slug it out with big Leigh Salters, took on someone much smaller — London foward Tyler Brown.
Both got lucky — the refs called the fights simultaneous so there should be no two-game suspension for second fight in the same stoppage.
“It was the right call,” Brown said. “They were about the same time. I didn’t want to fight at first because I saw Tinner starting to go and you don’t want (the suspension) but he dropped his gloves so I kind of had to.”
The Knights, meanwhile, dropped a lot of what has haunted them during a difficult November.
They scored first against Guelph. They had surrendered the opening goal in five straight games since beating Barrie 8-1 on Nov. 12.
Boston Bruins pick Jared Knight, on that one, became the first London player to 10 goals this season. The Knights are the last OHL team to get one player there.
And he did it without any help in the first period. He lugged the puck from centre ice all the way to his off-wing, then rifled it over Brandon Foote’s glove.
The Knights also got two goals from unlikely defencemen. Mike Moffat, from nearby Waterloo, gave London the lead for good in the second and Kevin Raine buried his first OHL goal.
Moffat also got stuck in the penalty box 10 seconds too long after a scoreboard hiccup.
“I knew it was messed up, I was talking to the guy in there,” he said. “The bench was yelling at me to come out.”
He eventually did and later, buried one on the rush. Sweet revenge.
“Jacques (Beaulieu, assistant coach) gives me the green light to jump,” he said. “I played that way growing up.”
No sense changing now.
Guelph star Peter Holland, though, needs a new approach against London goalie Michael Houser. The Knights netminder owned him on a couple of spectacular saves.
“He got one on me in London,” Houser said, “but we came back with three in the third (just like Saturday). A good win. The guys kept the puck to the outside well.”
Things are not well in Guelph. The Storm are better than their record and have now lost five straight.
Strathroy native Tyler Carroll is the Storm captain. These are rough times.
“It’s tough and we’re trying to find different ways to turn it around,” he said. “All you can do is come to the rink and work. It’s still early, yes, but we’re (24) games in. There’s not that much time.”
Forget contending. The Storm have to establish themselves as a playoff team first. The Knights, who dressed four affiliated players (the Rupert twins, Tommy Hughes and Kevin Raine) are the same way.
Guelph brought in a blast from their past in Mike Kelly to replace Listowel native and former Knight Jason Brooks as GM. Brooks is still the coach.
Kelly led the Storm from expansion in the early ’90s until Alan Millar took over in 1997.
“You never want to see anything like that happen to (Brooks),” Carroll said.
It’s not like Carroll doesn’t know winning. As a rough-and-tumble 16-year-old, he was part of the Strathroy Rockets team that came a game from a Sutherland Cup title in Junior B.
“That was a great feeling coming to the rink every day knowing you were going to win,” he said. “I learned a lot from that team.”
But it hasn’t translated to the Royal City yet.
Knights 5, Storm 3
London goals: Seth Griffith (2), Jared Knight, Mike Moffat, Kevin Raine
Guelph goal: Taylor Beck, Carter Sandlak, Tyler Carroll
Next: The Knights return home to face old mate Michael MacDonald and the Sudbury Wolves Sunday at 2 p.m. at the John Labatt Centre.
At Sleeman Centre
Knights 5, Storm 3
Free Press 3 Stars
1. Jared Knight, London. Dominant and productive.
2. Michael Houser, London. Owned Peter Holland.
3. Seth Griffith, London. Two big third-period goals.
1. London, Knight 10 (unassisted) 15:58
Penalties — Athanasiou, Ldn (slashing, McNaughton, Gue (cross-checking) 6:42, D’Orazio, Ldn (holding) 10:06, McNaughton, Gue (slashing) 18:18.
2. Guelph, Beck 12 (Holland, Latta) 10:36 (pp)
3. London, Moffat 2 (Knight, Griffith) 14:33
Penalties — Moffat, Ldn (delay of game) 0:39, Carroll, Gue (checking from behind) 2:13, Searle, Gue (hooking) 4:31, Sanza, Ldn (slashing) 8:50, Moffat, Ldn (checking from behind) 8:59, Kosmachuk, Gue (checking from behind) 11:48, DeSousa, Ldn (slashing) 16:14, Griffith, Ldn (checking from behind) 18:48, Carroll, Gue, Latta, Gue, Tinordi, Ldn, Brown, Ldn (fighting) 20:00.
4. London, Griffith 6 (Erlich, Knight) 2:03 (pp)
5. London, Raine 1 (Erlich, Namestnikov) 3:04
6. Guelph, Sandlak 4 (Beck) 6:39 (sh)
7. London, Griffith 7 (unassisted) 8:03
8. Guelph, Carroll 7 (Beck, Latta) 12:03
Penalties — Pedan, Gue (interference) 1:03, Van Laren, Gue (delay of game) 5:14, DeSousa, Ldn (tripping) 13:35.
Shots on goal by
London 12 9 7—28
Guelph 9 12 10—31
Goal — London: Houser (W, 11-9). Guelph: Foote (L, 7-11).
Power plays (goals-chances): London 1-8. Guelph 1-8.
Referees — Ryan Carroll, Darren Price. Linesmen — Dusty McCrank, Rick Janco.
Attendance — 3,993 (5,100).